Editor’s note: If you own a local gym and you’re still offering streaming services during the coronavirus pandemic, email [email protected] to get added to our list.
I had no idea when I got my first extra-long yoga mat, circa 2012 or so, that I would need it someday when a global pandemic would sweep through Charlotte and render group fitness closed for the foreseeable future. During COVID-19, I’ve found the extra length quite helpful — because, as it turns out, my 75-pound dog likes to share mat space with me.
While Charlotteans sit in perpetual waiting for the virus numbers to go down or a vaccine to come save us all, we’re all figuring it out how to make it work.
We know it’s been tough with most of our favorite gyms being ordered closed. In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper updated the state’s safer-at-home order to Phase 2.5 on Sept. 1, a week earlier than previously announced. Even though gyms were allowed to reopen at 30 percent capacity on Sept. 4, plenty of people aren’t ready to return to working out alongside other humans. It also may be difficult to get a spot in your favorite class, with the reduced capacity.
Us at-home workout warriors have learned to adapt. The back of a dining room chair becomes a barre. Stacks of books are now yoga blocks. Sidewalks are acceptable alternatives to treadmills. Bicycles are the new spin class, and the sun heats nature’s hot yoga studios in patios and backyards all over the city.
These gym owners have been there for us during quarantine, reminding us to focus on our health, putting Zoom links in our inboxes, offering reasons to break up the Netflix marathons with … actual marathons (S/O to Charlotte Marathon going virtual this year).
And many of these gym owners, who have been following the state’s orders since March and doing their part to prevent community spread of the coronavirus, are also stressing out — majorly. All this time of being shut down means the rent money needs to come from somewhere. Reopening at 30 percent capacity during Phase 2.5 obviously won’t allow for the same monetary gains as pre-COVID.
So we know what to do, fam: Break out the wallet (if you are able), and treat yourself to some class packs, retail purchases or donations.
Charlottean Razz Sharpless is a personal trainer, women’s fitness specialist and barre, TRX and yoga instructor. During COVID-19, she is offering online classes in addition to her group hikes, paddleboard and intro to rock climbing classes. Online, you can get strength & conditioning, deep stretch, barrelates, core and HIIT workouts. I loved Razz’s Barre Code NoDa classes, so I’m equally happy to find her here on my Zoom screen.
COST: Book a class for $5-$15 (based on what you can afford) or pay $60 for a month of unlimited online classes.
While the gym is closed, the aerial silks studio has pivoted to an online model meant to help build and maintain flexibility. It recommends practice 3-5 times per week to show results. With this program, you’ll be ready to fly in the silks again once the pandemic is over. If you’ve never done a silks workout, put it on your bucket list for after COVID — it’s an experience, not just a workout.
COST: The Flexibility On Demand subscription is $30 per month.
Anytime Fitness’ team training is a full body functional workout that’s offered all day long in live online sessions via Zoom on Monday-Saturday.
COST: Range between $10-$20/session, depending on how many sessions per week you sign up for.
Arrichion is offering 25+ virtual classes per week via Zoom. Expect a mix of yoga and circuit training from the hot yoga studio with a South End location. Check out Black Opal for some good spinal twists, MMA Yoga for a yoga with weights session, Diamond to stretch it out — these yoga classes are like no other, even without the studio’s signature heat (the hottest hot yoga I’ve ever seen, by far).
COST: First-time students can get a membership deal for $39.95 for unlimited classes for the rest of August. After that, you’ll pay $115 a month. Visit arrichion.com/stayhome for more details.
If you need a flexible schedule, you’ll want to check out the virtual schedule at Barry’s Charlotte. With 50+ classes a day, beginning as early as 6 a.m. and some starting as late as 9:45 p.m., you’ll have no excuses.
Cost: New students can get 2 classes for $20. Monthly passes range from $175-$225, depending on how often you want to take class. Visit the Barry’s website for details.
Be Yoga on East Boulevard is hosting Zoom classes. Book your next power flow, slow flow, yin or deep stretch here.
COST: New students can get a 10-class pack for $79 or a 2-month unlimited pass for $119. Regular drop-in classes are $19, and a month unlimited is $150.
BoomOlistic Evolution offers heavy bag kickboxing, virtual kickboxing, TRX HIIT and low-impact sessions for beginners via Zoom. Coach Boom Hari can accommodate injuries or limitations and offers alternatives for every workout, and also can provide access to virtual yoga classes.
COST: Monthly access is $50. Single, drop-in visits are $10.
Join the Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center for virtual circus and dance classes via Zoom in disciplines including deep stretch and hand balancing, listed as “virtual classes” on the center’s schedule.
COST: Classes are $8-$15 per class each, on a sliding scale.
In addition to its outdoor classes and other activities (including a run club), Concord-based yoga studio is offering livestream classes. Sign up for power flow to get your heart rate up or deep stretch to bring anxiety down. Gentle yoga and slow flow are also offered. I can personally vouch for Robin Blackwell’s Long Slow Deep class on Tuesday evenings.
COST: A basic membership includes 8 classes per month for $90. A month-to-month membership with unlimited classes is $145 per month.
Charlotte Yoga is offering livestream yoga classes. Sign up via its app or website, and then you’ll receive a link to join class one hour prior to its start.
Club Pilates locations in South Providence and Strawberry Hill are offering virtual classes including mat pilates, Center + Balance and more. Members can also get access to Club Pilates GO, which offers on demand workouts.
CHAKTI blends yoga and dance in classes at 6:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, and 10:30 a.m. Saturday for members only. I’ve attended a few of these during COVID, and they are truly a bright spot in my day. Nothing like some good old-fashioned booty music blaring in your living room on a Monday evening.
Community Yoga in Cornelius is closed for in-person offerings, but is offering a full slate of classes via Zoom, including Meditation, Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga, Candlelight Deep Stretch and even Saturday Chair Yoga.
COST: $10 per Zoom class, but you can get a new student special two-week pass for $20. Class packs are also available.
While the studios in Midtown and Park Road Shopping Center are closed, CorePower offers at an At Home Membership with a mix of livestream and on-demand classes.
COST: $39 per week.
Crunch Ballantyne is temporarily closed, but streaming online workouts are available from Crunch Live.
COST: A 90-day trial is free. Monthly memberships are $9.99, and an annual membership is $90.
Daily Burn allows you to create a personalized fitness program incorporating cardio, strength training, pilates, barre and more. If you don’t like the workouts Daily Burn selects for you, you can opt out of them for the day and choose your own.
COST: $ 19.95/month, 30-day free trial.
Shanna Small, the director of Ashtanga Yoga at Khali Yoga in Charlotte, is among the instructors offering virtual classes on this platform.
COST: Varies depending on workshop, generally starting at $20 and up.
Charlotte-based Determined Results Fitness is offering an app-based 28-day challenge workout that incorporates 15-minute bodyweight workouts.
Fit Atelier makes every workout feel like a party. You can stream classes to get your cardio in by dancing your heart to choreography taught by NFL cheerleaders and ballerinas. In addition to dance cardio, each of the different classes includes toning and stretching sections for a full body workout.
COST: $14.99/month or $159.99/year, 14-day free trial
Fitness Blender is an online resource created by two personal trainers with hundreds of free workout videos ranging from 10-85 minutes long. These videos include apartment-friendly cardio, strength training, pilates, stretching and more at levels appropriate for everyone from beginners to elite athletes.
New yoga videos lasting 1.5 hours are released from the Ballantyne-based studio on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, with a link sent out that will be good for 36 hours. The online classes — each having a different theme — will include education about the facets of yoga, ayurveda, breathwork, functional asana and meditation. I have personally learned a lot about the importance of slowing down by taking Lisa Moore’s classes during COVID-19.
COST: $13/class. Payments can be made via Venmo, Zelle, PayPal and check. Email [email protected] or call 704-277-3887 to get on the RSVP list.
Charlotte-based Hilliard Studio Method has a streaming service that allows you to take the studio’s high energy and low impact pilates-based classes anywhere, in addition to Zoom-based classes. Take a live 60-minute HSM class or mix and match shorter videos that are as short as 5 minutes for a customized workout experience. The HSM streaming services also includes modifications to help expectant and postpartum mothers, and those dealing with injuries work out effectively and safely. HSM also launched its own podcast, so break out those earbuds.
COST: $19/month, 7-day free trial
In addition to being the owner of I AM YOGA CLT, Kiesha Battles is Yoga Director at Charlotte Family Yoga Center. I AM YOGA offers virtual yoga teacher training, virtual private lessons and virtual classes.
COST: $5 for a class at Beatties Ford Road Yoga. Yoga Studies are also offered, with courses in yoga and meditation, Chinese medicine, yin yoga and more.
Charlotte’s first yoga studio left its physical space permanently in May, but it also decided to expand its virtual offerings.
COST: Monthly pass is $50
THE JAM: CLT has been posting free dance choreography on its YouTube channel. There’s even a Kids Jam for tiny dancers that can be found on theYouTube channel.
Kristen Quick is a certified personal trainer, health coach and bootcamp instructor based in south Charlotte who provides bootcamps five to six days a week, in-person and virtually through Zoom. She also trains through Zoom and via Gympass, offering virtual trainings for corporate wellness clients.
COST: $5 for Zoom bootcamps via Venmo.
NoDa Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes, including slow flow, yin yoga and deep stretch. Check out its walking meditation classes for a new and different experience.
COST: The studio is offering some $10 classes in addition to pay-what-you-can offerings.
Kelley Carboni-Woods is a certified accessible yoga teacher, trainer and founder of Sanctuary in the City, which is a nonprofit offering yoga, healing and other opportunities to BIPOC through programming, grants and scholarships. Peace-Filled Mama is offering a four-week online session titled “Fearless Creators,” where you’ll get weekly asana practice, self-study, journaling, homework and a plan for sustainable action.
COST: $50 for four-week program
The Plaza Midwood favorite Okra is still doing some virtual classes as it begins to sprinkle in outdoor and indoor sessions. When you scroll the schedule, make sure to look for the classes labeled [virtual]. Don’t forget to check out its retail store, Gumbo, where you can stock up your online cart ahead of time for all of your at-home yoga needs. Our picks: lavendar and sage essential oils, a Zavia polished moonstone bracelet and some Namaste incense. When you close your eyes, you’ll feel like you’re in the studio.
COST: $8/$16 drop in
Om Charlotte is Charlotte’s newest virtual yoga studio. Owner Nate Wojcik is currently offering vinyasa on Wednesdays and Saturdays and deep stretch on Friday evenings. Private lessons are also available. If you’re interested in deepening your yoga practice, check out the web site for books recommended by Wojcik that touch on key poses of yoga and the science behind it. There’s even detailed instruction on what an om chant is and how to do it. “Om Charlotte believes this is an integral part to every practice, taking a moment to clear the mind, preparing a space for your practice as well as resetting when you are finished,” the web site states.
COST: $7 per class
Orangetherory is offering workouts for free via YouTube, essentially thwarting all of those excuses in your head to just stay on the couch and do nothing. New workouts are posted daily.
Take Pure Barre’s ballet-inspired body weight workouts at home with the Pure Barre GO streaming service. Workouts range from 5-60 minutes with new videos coming out each week. If, like most of us, you do not have a ballet barre in your home, you can simply use a chair or table to create your living room into an in-home barre studio and get all the toning benefits of a barre workout without leaving the house.
COST: $29.99/month, $289/year, 7-day free trial
Charlotte yoga instructor Rebby Kern offers both outdoor and online classes, including pay-what-you-can Queer Yoga sessions via Rebby’s Zoom Room. That class meets Tuesday at 6 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.
COST: Pricing varies by host location, ranging from free classes for BIPOC in Queer Yoga and YES Collective to $90 for an 8-class per month membership at Charlotte Family Yoga.
Sanctuary In The City offers guided meditation, yoga and other wellness programming meant specifically for Black and indigenous people of color.
COST: All offerings are free for BIPOC, but donations are accepted.
Sweatnet is offering more than 70 virtual classes on its website for its members that are searchable by type of workout. Choose from strength, dance, yoga, crossfit, kickboxing and more — there’s something for everyone.
COST: $9.95/month or $28.95 for 3 months
Charlotte-based personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and former Division 1 Track & Field athlete Sydney Cummings uploads a different workout video free of charge every day at 5 a.m. Choose from the library of over 825 20-60 minute fitness videos to mix up your workout. The videos provide modifications and are appropriate for all fitness levels. Workouts require no equipment or dumbbells, depending on the video.
The Trans Yoga Project is a work in progress that includes Rebby Kern of Charlotte. Currently in the works are 2-hour Online Trans & Queer Inclusion Workshops for yoga teachers, studio owners and other wellness professionals. Stay tuned for more offerings.
COST: A choice of five membership levels ranges from $2 per month for community members (“primarily intended for trans and non-binary folks and BIPOC”) up to $100 for the redistributor level (“primarily meant for cisgender and/or white folks who want to support our work and contribute at a higher level as a form of wealth redistribution”).
VIBE5 (pronounced *vibes*) Yoga + Fitness Studio in SouthPark gets its name from five areas of focus: yoga, cardio, strength training, youth and community. Classes are offered four ways: in-person, via livestream, outdoors or on demand.
COST: New client specials include two weeks for $25 or four weeks for $45, which includes unlimited livestream or outdoor classes. To access its on-demand library, you can choose an annual membership for $105 per month, 6 months unlimited for $125 per month or 1 month unlimited for $175 per month.
This woman-owned boutique studio focusing on cardio, strength and pilates has launched WKS: STREAMING.
The YES Collective, formed when Yoga One abruptly closed, offers a daily schedule of virtual yoga classes starting as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m. You can still get your favorite Y1 instructors on your screen. Many of them still manage to offer virtual assists. (“Melissa, move your foot a little to the left.”) It’s surprisingly effective.
COST: All classes are pay-what-you-can.
Through the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, you can access a variety of Virtual Y classes. Some workouts are free, such as yoga, bootcamp or weightlifting. If you want more personalized training, set up a virtual one-on-one session. Find out more details here.
COST: $73 per month for an individual membership
Yoga for Life & Centered Wellness has closed its physical doors permanently but is continuing to serve the community through its online offerings. Zoom meeting IDs are found on the studio’s home page.
COST: If you are unable to pay for classes, you are still invited to join for yoga. Monthly online class subscriptions are based on a pay-what-you-can model and begin at $19/monthly.
Yoga On Main is a one-year-old studio with a physical location in Lincolnton, but during COVID-19, its Zoom classes are as low as $5. Try taking a Powerful Flow followed by a Yin with Yoga Nidra for a perfectly balanced evening.
COST: Classes are donation-based beginning at $5. New student special is $30 for a month, and after that, a month of unlimited virtual classes is $75.
Yoga Vibes offers unlimited, on-demand access to its streaming library of over 2,000 yoga, meditation and barre classes.
COST: After a free 15 day trial, choose from a $17 per month annual subscription or a month-to-month subscription for $19.95.