After a year of business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, fitness studios have been hit especially hard. For months, these businesses have been considered non-essential and continue to face a variety of restrictions. Now, many are working their way towards normalcy as the state of Washington gradually loosens these restrictions.
Hot Yoga Experience
Owner Danielle Miller has implemented a number of changes to her business in accordance with the 50% capacity restriction issued by the state for Phase 3.
The Sammamish studio was too small to safely conduct activities as usual, having its first open on Feb. 15 at 25% capacity. Now, yoga sessions can be offer at a capacity of 18 individuals each. As a hot yoga studio, outdoor classes are not an option, but they have been providing online yoga classes for those who want to join remotely.
“There are some other guidelines we follow that have come from Yoga Alliance, which is the main certifying organization in the United States,” Miller said.
These recommendations include extra space between the instructor and yoga students. Instructors will not make any physical adjustments with students. There will be no deep breathing exercises, and students are asked to answer health screening questions and perform temperature checks.
Additionally, showers and locker rooms are still off-limits. Online payments and reservations are the only option to register for classes, and masks are required when occupants are inside and exercising.
“We understand the hesitancy and concern about wearing masks while doing fitness. The heat has been reduced and our instructors are monitoring the intensity of class to allow the yoga students to confidently participate in the class,” said Miller.
She urges people to get back in the habit of regular exercise to protect both physical and mental health.
“Mental health is declining with the isolation of COVID prevention measures,” she said.
This chain of yoga studios has one location in Sammamish. It is open every weekday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., but morning hours vary by day. Currently, the studio is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday and Friday morning hours are 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning hours are 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. On Saturdays, YogaSix is open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Sundays hours are 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
They offer a variety of classes, including in-person, outdoors and virtual. Complying with the latest health guidelines, indoor class capacity is at 50% and outdoor activities can host a maximum of 30 individuals. All in-person activities require social distancing and zero contact. Masks must be worn in the studio at all times.
Members are asked to reserve classes online and check-in digitally. There is no hands-on instruction. Participants can bring their own yoga mats and other equipment. The studio is deep cleaned after every class, and class times are spaced so members can enter and exit safely. In addition, the practice room is filtered using a germicidal UVC light.
Owner Tami Parker has, for the most part, been able to maintain her usual classes due to having a private studio with very small class sizes. Individual sessions, duet sessions, and neurokinetic therapy sessions are all available, as are body rolling therapy sessions, which are held on occasion.
The only class currently on-hold at Sammamish Pilates is the equipment class, which involves circuit training with three to four other individuals and does not meet current health guidelines. Instead, Parker has recently introduced a 55-minute Zoom class on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. that incorporates equipment into the workout and offers a safe, group experience. The Zoom link will be sent through email after you sign up for a session.
As Sammamish returns incrementally to pre-pandemic life, be sure to check in with your favorite studios and gyms for the latest workout options.