Alex’s new fitness challenge
Sitting at home during a Covid-19 lockdown, it's hard not to get creaky in the joints.
Fitness instructor Alex Hasselkuss is offering online yoga and joint mobility classes to help people stay limber, while they are homebound.
The founder of fitness business My Move, said it's important to stay active for mind and body health.
“When you are doing yoga or joint movement it gives you time to focus on your breath,” she said. “It is taking your mind away, temporarily, from whatever stresses are going on in your life. It is a mental break from thinking about what is going on.”
She started My Move in August, and offers not only yoga classes, but also mobility training and Kinstretch, a method of improving body control and joint health through specific movements and stretching.
Her students range from athletes looking to improve their range of motion to older people concerned about losing mobility due to ageing.
“Some young people also care that their joints work well,” Ms Hasselkuss said.
Before the coronavirus emerged, she'd already been thinking about taking her training online.
“I have a lot of Instagram followers who are overseas,” she said. “I'd been thinking about how I could lead classes online or have more presence outside of Bermuda.”
The Covid-19 crisis gave her the push to get that going.
“I already had quite a few videos recorded for some of my students,” she said. “There is a video library available for free on my website. You just have to create a login and password.”
She has also created a private Facebook group that is available for a small fee. There she will be recording live yoga and Kinstretch classes.
Members can view up to six live classes per week, three yoga and three Kinstretch.
Classes are also recorded to watch later if the live versions are missed.
“That is largely a local population,” she said.
There is also a forum that allows people who take her classes online, to ask questions and get feedback.
Ms Hasselkuss said the pandemic has definitely created a new challenge for her business.
“Fortunately, I am independent,” she said. “I don't have overheads and rents. But I do have to get more creative.
“This pushes you to think outside of the box.
“For me, the challenge has been trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together in terms of the technology — recording videos, running them live and making sure they work with Facebook.
“I've also had to learn how to use Zoom. I have a great website, so I've been fairly fortunate.”
She said she's not the only one offering instruction over the internet.
“Lots of local gyms are doing an amazing job offering online programming for members and adapting quickly,” she said.
She first started practising yoga about 20 years ago, while working in the insurance industry.
“At the time I was doing a lot of running and other sports,” she said. “Yoga seemed a good compliment for that. I still do yoga but now I am more into mobility training.
“It is about making your joints work well, so you can do anything you want to do.”
After doing many yoga workshops and smaller training programmes, she began to realise that fitness was something she wanted to focus on more.
“I had over 500 hours in yoga teacher training,” she said.
Leaving insurance was a difficult decision to make.
“My daughters were younger at the time,” she said. “Going into yoga teaching seemed more of an opportunity to spend more time with them. They are now 15 and 13.”
She most recently taught at Alchemy Fitness and Beyond Fitness as an independent contractor.
She also conducts private sessions around the island.
“Prior to that I was a partial owner of Lucky Elephant Wellness for four years,” she said. “I left in August to pursue business opportunities on my own.”
She loves what she does.
“Yoga, Kinstretch and mobility training can be fit to any body type and any level,” she said. “In my classes I like to work with beginners and help people learn how to move and feel better.”
Many of her clients struggle with chronic pain from injuries.
“I feel joyful to help them to overcome those injuries,” she said.
She teaches with the novice in mind.
“I give a lot of verbal instructions,” she said.
Her private Facebook group is $50 to access until April 17.
“There will be 14 classes in that time,” she said. “People can watch those live or go back and watch them later. There is also a forum for people if they have any questions when I am teaching.”
• For more information see mymovebda.com or @mymovebda, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705-3286