Sports, both amateur and professional, were shut down with the COVID-19 quarantine.
Gym and fitness center doors were locked as well.
Locally, that includes Melissa Hughey and her Lemon Balm Yoga and Wellness Center.
But the quarantine didn’t shut out her clients or anyone who wanted to work out for that matter. Hughey did what most everyone across the country and nation are doing. She took her business online with an eye on the future of getting back to in person classes.
The 2004 Indianola Academy grad and part-time Dental Hygienist got into yoga years ago and opened her own studio in downtown Indianola in 2018.
She had been travelling the state for work but when she started taking yoga, she knew she wanted to train people in yoga full time.
“I started teaching in my home but then opened up downtown,” Hughey said. “But right now, I’m packing up my studio and I’m doing everything live and online. I’ve got a spot at Heathman Plantation. Once I start in person, I’m going to do everything out there because it’s a larger space.”
Hughey will organize the new yoga spot with social distancing standards to keep clients safely apart while working out. She initially shut down her studio the week after spring break in March to comply with the state orders and the Yoga Alliance that she is governed by.
“I was planning on doing it and had already set up to do classes live,” she said. “I didn’t know it would happen so soon.”
The live classes are through Zoom through her website where she books classes.
“They have it set up when people schedule their classes, it takes them right to Zoom,” she said.
Clients have to set up a free Zoom account in order to take part in the workouts with Hughey. A quick jaunt to lemonbalmyogawellness.com/ and click on the schedule tab to find a class.
“I go in and add the link and it takes them right where they need to go,” she said.
The classes may be purchased as either a drop-in pay per-class or multiple-class package. There are also annual memberships as well.
“The links are up 15 minutes before the class,” she said. “I didn’t know how it would go but I’ve had a good turnout with everyone being at home. I’ve actually added classes that people want.”
The Zoom classes also allow Hughey a visual of her students to help them with technique but they also have the option of turning off their video feed as well.
She notes the online classes also help with the quarantine in helping folks connect in a creative and beneficial manner. It can also be a great stress relief.
“There’s been a lot of studies that show yoga and mediation help with stress relief. With yoga, we are working on our breathing. When we do that, we are strengthening our lungs and we do different breathing exercises throughout each session. It helps you become more present and put the outside world aside. When you leave your mat, you take those things with you.”
Hughey teaches all levels of yoga and her classes include all levels with no competition.
“Yoga also teaches non-judgement. I tell new people when they do it, we do something called Child’s Pose. It’s a balanced pose and its perfectly fine at any time to go to that pose. It’s not a competition. We’re not trying to beat this person, we’re trying to challenge ourselves. I try and challenge people physically and mentally but there’s some days you just need to listen to your body. Some days you need to be a little more still.”
Hughey has also put together videos on YouTube.com.
“I usually put up two or three a week,” she said.
The “Free at Home” classes offer different styles, different length workouts and different challenges.
“My main concern is keeping people healthy and bringing more life and wellness to them,” she said. “I’m also going to do some limited member outdoor classes at my home.”
Hughey is certified in Vin Yassa Hatha Yoga. She also teaches restorative yoga.
“Vin Yassa is the most common style in the US and people compare it to a dancing type yoga. Everything is linked together so the transitions are just as important as the pose,” she said.
There’s no excuse for getting out of shape during the quarantine when Lemon Balm Yoga is online and ready to help.