Students are being offered new ways to stay physically active during COVID-19
Ryerson University has implemented a new online fitness program called MOVE Everywhere, with the importance of regular physical activity in mind. Classes are offered online via Zoom and are available for free to all Ryerson students.
Classes run Monday to Friday with a number of different options for students to choose from. Whether it’s for high-intensity workouts or morning yoga to start the day off right, there is something for everyone.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for people to stay involved in the activities that they were doing before COVID, and it’s kind of nice to do it from the comfort of your own home,” says Katie Allen, a yoga instructor teaching Hatha yoga classes for the MOVE Everywhere program.
Allen says the benefit of these classes is the ability to receive live feedback and guidance from the instructor at any given moment.
“You have more of a chance to be seen and also to just improve and make those little adjustments that are specific to you personally, instead of just watching a fitness video on YouTube or a subscription-based platform; it’s a little bit more personal.”
The program offers both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga classes. Allen explains that while Vinyasa is traditionally more vigorous in pace, Hatha is the basic beginner style of yoga.
“Hatha yoga is a little more gentle, so you’re not transitioning between poses nearly as quickly as you would be for a Vinyasa class, and there’s generally more guided instruction to help you ease in or out of a posture.”
Allen says she personally likes to add anatomical terms so participants are aware of what specific muscles they should be working. She also tends to draw tarot cards during her classes that provide ideas to help inspire one’s practice, adding more philosophy and mindfulness to the class.
Allen encourages students to try out the classes for themselves regardless of fitness abilities. “They’re totally beginner friendly and as I go through a sequence, I always offer variations along the way,” says Allen. “So you never have to feel stuck or insecure of what position you’re in because all of them are valuable to your own body’s opening and relaxation to find the stretch that works for you.”
If students are looking for something to get their heart rate up, Diva Train is a brand new fitness class that launched this month along with the MOVE Everywhere program. Diva Train is a female only body conditioning class using only body weight for exercises.
“It combines feel-good music with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and it’s meant to just leave you empowered and sweaty from the inside out,” says Grace Lindsey, founder and instructor for Diva Train.
Lindsey prides Diva Train on inclusivity and welcomes everyone to take her class.
“Diva Train promotes exercising because of the way it makes you feel opposed to the way it makes you look, so everything is based around a feeling instead of esthetics,” says Lindsey. “You’re not competing against anyone else in the room. It’s just you and you go at your own pace and it’s just meant to empower you to get fit, strong and healthy in mind, body and soul.”
Classes are ongoing via Zoom. More information on the MOVE Everywhere fall 2020 program as well as weekly class schedules can be found on Ryerson’s website.