Here in Melbourne, we're back in Stage 3 Restrictions.
That means that most of our favourite ways to move, stretch and exercise may not be available to us right now, including gyms, yoga studios, pilates classes, martial arts, personal training, and lots more.
So what are your options from home to keep moving, stretching and feeling physically well? Here are some of our favourite at home, online accessible resources.
Erica Webb Yoga & Pilates Virtual Studio - Erica has an amazing and gentle approach to movement as medicine. Shes fun, insightful, and her classes are suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Erica is a local yoga teacher from Croydon. Her membership subscription costs less than a single traditional yoga class per month.
Nate Bower Fitness - you don't need a boxing bag to be able to follow along with these boxing drills. Guaranteed to get your heart rate up, and lots of beginner friendly classes. This YouTube channel provides free 20-30 minute boxing class videos.
Couch To 5K App - Want to start running? This app helps you go from dusting off your old runners, to running a full 5km. Starting with very small bursts of running with big walk intervals, and as your fitness improves the interval timing changes, until you can make it through your full 5km run. I've used this app myself in the past and found it really useful and encouraging. You can use the official C25K app on Apple or Android, or there are plenty of similar versions for free (maybe with a few ads!)
Mountain Pilates - Jeanette Tatton is a local pilates instructor in the Hills, and is running Zoom pilates classes each week. Pilates is a great full body workout that is gentle but effective at strengthening your body.
Alpha Health - Our good friend Ash and her partner Paul are amazing personal trainers offering online coaching to keep you fit and moving throughout isolation. When Anytime Fitness in Ferntree Gully is open, Ash offers training there, too.
What are your favourite online resources to stay inspired and healthy during lockdown? Let us know on our social media channels on Facebook and Instagram!
Have you ever found that gentle movement such as yoga helped to alleviate your symptoms, but you struggle to go to a regular class?
Here at Simple Wellness Myotherapy, we know how good moving your body can be - for your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments, as well as your nervous system and your mind! But we also know that it can be tough to get to a class when you're feeling sore or brain-foggy.
That's why we sat down with Erica Webb, a Yoga, Mat Pilates and Somatic Exercise Coach for a chat. If you're looking to incorporate movement in the comfort of your own home, her Mindful Movement Virtual Studio might be for you.
Hi Erica! Thanks for joining us.
Could you start off by telling us a little about yourself and the Mindful Movement Virtual Studio?
Thanks guys! I’m a Yoga, Mat Pilates and Somatic Exercise Coach based in Melbourne, Australia.
As well as a mindful movement coach, I am a mother to two young boys and a writer and illustrator. At my core I'm curious, kind, committed and just the right amount of quirky!
I truly believe that movement is powerful. Mindful movement is more powerful still. That’s why I created The Mindful Movement Virtual Studio.
The Mindful Movement Virtual Studio is an online Yoga, Pilates and Somatic Exercise Studio. It allows you to do your movement practice from anywhere, anytime.
But it’s more than just a library of classes. It’s also a space where you’re supported! We talk about mindset, forming habits and other practical elements that make a home practice do-able and sustainable.
As part of the Studio, we also offer live masterclasses, weekly Q&As and more.
Who is this Virtual Studio for?
People who want to feel better in their own bodies! Many of my clients are busy women who want to feel better and know they need to commit to look after themselves and take responsibility.
It’s also for people who simply don’t get the chance to go to a local yoga class. It might be that you’re juggling around kids, or that you have pain or a condition that makes it difficult for you to make a regular class.
Is there anyone who wouldn’t benefit from this service?
I can really only think of two:
Does someone need to have experience with yoga to benefit from the Virtual Studio?
Not at all! Many people who join are brand-new to yoga. But for those who do know their yoga, it’s beneficial because we use a lot of techniques and poses that aren’t commonly used in the average yoga class.
Do we need to commit a lot of time to see the benefits?
No! Most of the classes are 30 minutes or less. There are some that are only 5 minutes, and some go up to an hour. So it’s more about committing little chunks of time on a regular basis, rather than committing to a dozen hours every single week.
Do we need to be skinny, super fit, bendy or decked out in the latest activewear to do these classes?
Firstly: you can rock up in your PJs if you want to!
Secondly, these classes are designed to be inclusive – you can be whatever size, fitness level and flexibility level and still reap the benefits.
Do we need fancy equipment?
A few of the classes incorporate props, but there are always at-home alternatives you can use. Many people use pillows and blankets as their props! However, you can always filter the classes to find a prop-free video if you need.
Are the classes appropriate for people who have pain or ongoing injuries?
If you have a condition or injury that might impact your ability to engage in physical activity, I always recommend getting clearance from your health professional first.
With that in mind, the majority of classes are gentle and have variations to suit almost any issue. For example, some of the classes can be done while seated.
Some of the more advanced classes may not suit for some types of injury or pain that affect the function of your muscles. If you’re unsure, you’re welcome to contact me directly about a specific class and whether it’s right for you.
What if we need a little extra support with anything?
I’m here to help! I make sure that I’m available for people to ask questions. Feel free to reach out if you need anything.
Ok, you’ve got us: how do we sign up?
If you’re ready to prioritise YOU, make time to move well and feel well, head to this link to join! The doors are open until Sunday 15th March.
Have you wondered if yoga might help you?
Yoga has become the "in thing" over the last few years, and you only have to do a quick search online to see everything from traditional styles of yoga, to beer yoga, chicken nugget yoga and goat yoga! (Not even kidding!)
But is yoga a good option if you have pain?
Here's a lot of reasons I like yoga as a pain-friendly exercise..
Low Impact Movements
Many yoga sequences are slow, gentle, low impact movements. There's no need for jumping, running, hopping, or other high energy movements that can put a lot of force through your joints. Moving in these slow, controlled ways can help keep your muscles and joints happy and healthy.
Improve Your Balance
Practicing yoga can challenge your balance, it can be a little tricky at first if you're not used to shifting your body weight or if your proprioception is a little out. But practice makes perfect, and by improving your balance you can reduce risks of things like trips, falls or rolling your ankles.
It Can Be A Full Body Work Out
Unless the class specifically is targeting a certain area, most of the time you'll get a pretty well balanced work out for your whole body. You'll also be doing stretching and strengthening moves without needing to push yourself too hard. Of course, there are many types of yoga classes, and some are designed to be much more physically challenging, so if you have pain choose a gentle class like a Slow Flow or Yin style, and talk to your yoga teacher about any limitation you have so they can keep an eye on you if they need to.
Exercise naturally produces amazing brain chemicals that help reduce our stress hormones. Combine that with mindful breathing, purposeful movement, and the calming environment and you have a very powerful stress buster!
So Many Choices!
There are just so many choices in where, when and how to practice. Yoga studios are abundant in Melbourne. But with the internet, YouTube and smart phones, you can also choose to practice at home, at the beach, in the park, literally anywhere with enough space to roll out a mat. Online classes also means that you can pick the length of class you can manage on the day, even if thats just 5 minutes per day.
Join A Community
By joining a class at a studio, you can meet people who are there for similar reasons. A lot of studios also offer memberships to make it affordable to go regularly, and run workshops or events.
Build Great Habits
By booking in for the same yoga class each week, you create a routine. Even one class a week makes a difference! Its your You Time, your time to move your body, push thoughts out of your head, breathe a little deeper, and know that you've nourished your body and brain.
You Can't Win At Yoga
There's no prizes or championships for yoga. No medals for being the most flexible. Winning isn't your purpose in yoga, you can just be exactly how you are on the day and move your body in a way that feels good. Some days you'll feel more or less mobile, but its all about you, not the person next to you.
Modify The Moves To Suit You
A lot of poses have different stages, and its unrealistic to expect to jump straight into the most advanced version of a pose. Speak to your teacher and they can modify poses to make it gentler and more comfortable for you. Taking a modified position that isn't painful is always better than forcing yourself into an advanced position that hurts.
Want to try yoga, but you're not sure where to start? If you're local to our Knoxfield clinic, then my favourite yoga studio near us is Hark Yoga on Burwood Hwy, Ferntree Gully. You can try an intro pass for $30 for 14 days of unlimited classes - personally I can highly recommend their Body & Mind classes, its a great combination of movement and meditation.
Hark Yoga also have a 21 Day Challenge starting on 2nd September, and we're contributing some Myotherapy gift certificates to the goodie bags!
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.