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Area fitness instructors look for new ways to help others stay fit

NATCHEZ — Area fitness centers and trainers have come up with new ways to encourage people to keep up with their fitness routines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Danielle Blain, a registered yoga instructor in Natchez, offered to post a live yoga nidra class for her social media followers.

The class is perfect for beginners and is less about calorie burning and more about stress relief and body restoration, Blain said.

“I’m waiting on a little bit of feedback to see what kind of interest there is in it and what time it would be but I was thinking I would stream a few sessions in yoga nidra. … It’s not like hard-core yoga but is more of a meditative process. I feel that is very important because a lot of people may be stressed out with everything that is going on in the world right now.”

Shortly after posting the suggestion, Blain said she had 15 to 20 people respond.

Blain said she would start by posting a pre-recorded class this week and may later schedule live video.

“I feel like this is an opportunity for us to take the current situation that we’re in and take a few steps back and acknowledge where we are in our lives,” Blain said. “For me, I’ve realized how non-appreciative I was of community. Now that we’re being forced to have this separation from one another, it makes me grateful for the community that we have here in Natchez.”

Other trainers have responded similarly to the pandemic as Blain has, including Pure Strength Studio and Planet Fitness trainers.

Planet Fitness on John R. Junkin Drive announced on social media Tuesday that the location would be temporarily closed “out of an abundance of caution” and also started offering free “Home Work-Ins” on live videos with a fitness trainer to guide viewers through the workouts.

Amanda Hudson, owner of Pure Strength Studio on North Union Street, said in response to the pandemic the studio couldn’t accept any new clients and has limited sessions to 4 or 5 people in the studio at a time.

On Tuesday, Hudson said she has started a new social media page called “Pure Strength Studio/Covid-19 ain’t getting us down!” where she hosts free a kettlebell class for experienced weightlifters.

“Don’t let your fitness regime go by the wayside just because you’re stuck at home,” Hudson said. “It’s important to stay as healthy as possible and exercise is key in doing that.”