TULSA, Okla. — Some Tulsans are making the best of their self-quarantining by spending time with the family and pets at home, some even working out in front of their TV.
Now because of that, fitness and yoga instructors are struggling to keep their businesses going with very few coming in for classes or instruction.
We spoke to Nicole Peltier, a yoga instructor and the owner of The Yoga Room, who tells us how this is a hard time for fitness instructors, but it's given her the push she needed to take things online and keep her business afloat.
“We were like so we are just going to stay and give yoga to the people in our studio as long as we can," Peltier said. "Of course that wasn’t safe, and that wasn’t smart.”
Peltier has been a yoga instructor for twenty-one years, and says it's much more than just exercise.
Many of her students use yoga to release stress and anxiety, especially with the fear circulating across the country.
“Thank God students are willing to get on and enroll for classes and pay," Peltier said. "That’s what kept the wheels, the wheels are still turning as far as keeping the studio afloat and the teachers get paid.”
Peltier says her message to instructors everywhere is to push forward and find alternative ways of increasing funds.
“We’ve been offering Yoga since 2001 in Tulsa and we have always had our doors wide open", Peltier says, "it would break my heart if we closed the doors and just did online classes because it’s really that interaction, the intimacy of having that relationship with the students and the teachers, us too. The giving is the receiving.”
She even created a new form of yoga. It helps battle addiction.
It's doing better online than in person.
“It hasn’t been as easy to get people to walk in the door for something like that, but actually doing an online version for sober curious, people struggling with addition, doing it online and anonymous, it’s happening now,” Peltier said.
Peltier says it would be hard to shut things down. But it's a problem many small business owners face.
“The stability of everything seems to be unstable so in the deep dark place, yea I am worried that after being able to offer yoga for 20 years in this community, we might have to close at least our physical doors,” Peltier said.
And like Peltier, Group Fitness Instructor Hannah Wheeler decided to get active outside in a small group, while still trying to practice social distancing.
“It was a way to kind of bring the gym to a specific place outside where it would be social distancing," Wheeler said. "But we can get together and push each other because we do at the gym all the time.”
Larger yoga studios are offering free classes, but this makes it harder for small business owners like Nicole to get by.
“It’s important that if people can pay that they do. There is a lot of investment into bring a yoga teacher. Blood, sweat, tears, money, time, sacrifice,” Peltier said."
They both say the hope to keep fingers crossed that the Coronavirus scare will die down soon.
Returning everything back to normal.
For more information on how to sign up for classes click here.
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