SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown measures have flipped work-life balance upside down.
This has put pressure on people’s physical and mental wellbeing, as indoor fitness centers were recently forced to shut down operations again.
CorePower Yoga has pivoted to providing people with much-needed stress therapy while holding classes outdoors at its three locations in Santa Barbara.
"CorePower is all about community and there's no community if our doors are closed,” CorePower co-owner Brandon Cox said. “We knew that we were allowed to do yoga outdoors."
The State Street location began outdoor classes on Saturday, July 18. La Cumbre and Goleta began outdoor classes on last Monday.
All studios ordered a speaker and mic to add to the outdoor experience. La Cumbre, Goleta have shade coverings.
For now, State Street has the open sky so students can enjoy the sun while they practice.
La Cumbre also has turf on the ground to add to the class environment.
"We adapted by making quick decisions and creating safety for all of the students,” CorePower co-owner Cara Ferrick said.
Teachers and students get their temperature taken before entering in the studio. Anyone with a fever will be kindly asked to leave, the yoga studio said.
"The most important thing is allowing people to feel as safe as possible,” Ferrick said. “Creating the processes around that."
Teachers and students must wear masks until they are seated or standing on their designated mat space.
"I was not comfortable coming to the classes indoors, I just didn't feel that it was as safe as it could be,” yoga student Terry Brown said. “Out here, I feel perfectly safe."
And for now, the studios are only allowing entry for restroom use and retail shopping.
"We're spaced out well, the instructors make sure that they're in a place that's not going to interfere with our space,” fellow yoga enthusiast Anne Darga said. “They've done a really good job, I feel really safe coming back here."
Despite this positive response, the governor’s decision to shutdown indoor studios could have a crippling effect financially.
"It's hard,” Ferrick said. “We've definitely had some serious challenges."
"As far as a business goes, we'll see if it’s making sense for us if we can still pay our bills,” Cox said. “We're committed to our community and offering this regardless.”
This exercise is adding much-needed attention to people’s physical and mental wellbeing.
"It just helps you focus in on one thing in your life when you're on your mat,” Darga concluded. “You're just right there and you're not worrying about the world around you."
Here's the total number of outdoor classes on the schedule each week:
- La Cumbre - 26
- Goleta - 20
- State Street - 47
The yoga studio is also offering live Zoom classes in addition to outdoor classes.
Students can reserve their spot for a CorePower Yoga class through their website.