I have been very open about my history with exercise addiction and how I’ve made adjustments in my life to have a better relationship with exercise. I know how important exercise is for my mental health but I’ve also crossed the line where issues with exercise became a mental health issue. One of the most important decisions I made when it come to establishing a healthier exercise routine was ensuring I was surrounding myself with body positive messaging that encouraged health at every size. Exercise is so important for everyone but there is no one size fits all and it doesn’t simply exist to make your body look a certain way.
Learning all of this has made me discerning about the types of workouts I do and the type of language used in workout classes. I won’t do classes for “the 6 pack abs” or the overrated “bikini body”. I want workouts that encourage tuning inwards, tapping into your energy and best serving your body in the moment. It’s probably one of the reasons I tend to gravitate towards yoga but there are also so many workout classes out there that also include healthy, body-positive language. Now that we’re all home and learning to embrace at-home, online workouts, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.
The Best Body Positive Online Workouts
Barre3 (Barre) – my love affair with Barre3 began 5 years ago at one of their studios in Toronto. Unfortunately there isn’t a studio near me now but I continue to subscribe to their online platform which is fantastic! For $29/month you get unlimited access to hundreds of their barre classes which are all-levels and body-inclusive. I’d consider them the OG in the body positive exercise movement. They have never encouraged any plans or methods that are unrealistic or unsustainable. I cannot recommend them enough! Side note: I interviewed their founder Sadie Lincoln on my podcast a few years ago and she’s a big role model for me and how I run my business
The Assembly (Barre/Yoga/Pilates/Weight-training) – this was my co-working space in San Francisco where I pretty much exclusively worked out for the last year or so. Unfortunately I had to cancel my membership when I moved but given everything that’s going on they’ve now moved their workouts online and given access to the public. This makes me SO happy. My favorites are their signature Stronger classes and I adore Dani’s Come Alive. All are inclusive and encouraging for women at all levels/shapes/sizes/backgrounds.
Move + Meditate (Barre/Pilates)- Kait Hurley is another podcast alumni whose platform, Move + Meditate incorporates mindfulness into the body practice and encourages you to tap into your own energy and best serve your body in the moment. Her platform is affordable and you can even download the app on your phone.
The Pad Studios (Yoga)- Some of you may know this yoga studio in San Francisco and some of you may recognize it because this is where I used to teach in SF! I absolutely adore this studio and miss going to class and seeing my students! One of the most common things I hear about the Pad is how inclusive the community felt and how encouraging, down-to-earth and supportive the teachers are. I couldn’t agree more. Now that they’ve moved classes online everyone (even those outside SF!) can now practice with a select few teachers. A great, body-positive online yoga class.
Pilates on Demand (Pilates/Barre) – This platform was created by a fellow blogger and Pilates instructor (hey Jess!) to encourage more body positive and encouraging workouts in the Pilates community. All workouts are 30 minutes long and while they’re tough, they remind you that health exists at every size – no matter what you look like!
The Class by Taryn Toomey (Bodyweight workout) – I honestly don’t even know how to describe this workout to you. It’s a combo of Barre, meets dance, meets bodyweight, meets going to church. There is most definitely a lack of diversity and body size in their teachers BUT their messaging is always super positive and encouraging and all about tuning inwards and listening to what your body needs. They offer 14 days free and then it’s $40 a month. I’ve done a couple in-person classes but the online classes are just as good (just fewer people having a full-body exorcism next to you lol)
One question for all of you: Would you be interested in seeing some at-home, yoga-style workouts from me? I’m obviously not teaching in the studio right now but would love to continue bringing you classes. Let me know if you have a platform preference (IG, Zoom, YouTube) and what you would like to see from me. Happy moving!
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