Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced that gyms and fitness centers in southeastern Michigan could re-open on Sept 9, 2020. In case you were wondering how this might affect group classes here at The Yoga Room, I have written this blog post explaining how many of the qualifications to the re-opening order make them impractical at this time. The qualifications are listed below, with my comments following in italics:
- Masks are required to be worn at all times, including when working out. I just don’t see how wearing a mask is going to be conducive to doing good yoga breathing. Plus, it has been shown that wearing a mask is not a 100% guarantee to stop virus particles, in particular when you’re breathing harder as you do when you’re exercising–and in an indoor facility, no less.
- Owners should do their best to offer outdoor workout opportunities. I am continuing to offer pop-up outdoor classes to all students enrolled in my courses for as long as the weather will allow.
- Capacity will be limited to 25%. 25% of The Yoga Room’s capacity would be 2 students. That is called a semi-private session, which is $90. Obviously, it is not sustainable for me to teach a class of 2 students at the roughly $16/person rate that I had been charging for group classes. Plus, I am still not really comfortable with the idea of having students in the yoga studio yet–for your health as well as mine.
- The size of fitness classes must be reduced to enable 6 feet of separation between attendees. The 25% capacity rule above negates this rule.
- Equipment must be regularly disinfected and hand sanitizer or soap and water must be made available to clients. I appreciate the effort gyms and fitness centers are putting forth to make this happen, as I know how much extra work this must be. They have employees. I am one person. I don’t have a team. I can only do so much, and cleaning the studio pre-Covid was more than enough for me. I just don’t have the capacity to keep up with these extra safety precautions.
- The gym must increase the circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors or using fans. I could do this for a while, but at some point this fall it’s going to get cold and students will start complaining. Most of us like to feel warm when we’re doing yoga.
So there you have it. I hope I was able to answer any questions you may have had. I have many students who are in the above 50, at-risk demographic, and I do not feel comfortable putting their health, or mine, at risk. I will continue to offer thoughtful, interesting and meaningful virtual yoga classes for the time-being. I hope you will stick with me!