From banning high fives to virtual yoga, here are ways KC gyms are adapting to coronavirus

If there’s one takeaway from the news during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that social distancing is crucial to keeping this thing from spreading. Kansas City is taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus after Mayor Quinton Lucas’ state of emergency proclamation by declaring that no events or gatherings with fifty or more attendees will be allowed in Kansas City for the next eight weeks.

One industry taking a hit during the outbreak is gyms and fitness studios, which are typically filled with high-touch equipment and crowded fitness classes. Here are some ways local gyms are adapting to the coronavirus outbreak.

Freight House Fitness in the West Bottoms plans to cut class sizes to no more than twenty people to allow room for the recommended six-foot social distance between each other.

Core Strong Fitness, a suspension training-based gym in the Crossroads, will rent out TRX bands for at-home workouts. They will still hold classes but keep them small enough so that everyone has their own set of equipment and doesn’t need to share.

Those who have tried their hand at nationally renowned Orange Theory Fitness know that every physical feat in the class is followed by a high-five. OTF and MOJO Cycling Studio in Country Club Plaza are urging people to keep their hands to themselves during class.

Many yoga studios are going remote, such as Sage Center for Yoga & Healing Arts and donation-based Karma Tribe Yoga. Karma Tribe yoga instructor Katie Brown will be teaching classes remotely through Zoom.

“It will be very different,” Brown says. “So much is uncertain right now and we want to be able to offer our students as much stability as we can in these shifting times.”

CorePower Yoga, a hot yoga franchise with over two hundred studios nation-wide, stated on their Facebook that “To support the wellbeing of our teachers, students and local communities, we’re temporarily closing our studios and offering free classes for everyone…” Their online classes are free even if without a membership.

In a time of panic, unknowns and even some cabin fever, Brown stresses that an at-home sweat sesh or calming yoga class will help.

“We will do breathwork to help ease anxiety, vigorous flows to move excess energy in the body, grounding meditations and postures to come back to the present moment,” Brown says. In her class, she hopes that “students continue to feel the same sense of community even while social distancing.”

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