Toronto-Based Yoga Instructor Delivers Pandemic “Window Workouts”

TORONTO – While it can be difficult to be physically active without access to a gym or a trainer, a yoga instructor in Toronto demonstrates clarity and vision by using windows to train.

Without being intimidated by the physical distancing measures, Ashley McEachern teaches her clients in their homes by rolling out her yoga mat next to a window or glass door, with her workout partner doing the same at the interior. Using her Bluetooth headphones, she can call customers and communicate instructions over the phone.

“It’s like being in a studio with just a window between you,” McEachern told CTV News in an interview.

Physical activity is seen as crucial even in the midst of lockdown measures, with a recent study from the University of Saskatchewan suggesting that students showed worsening of already poor eating habits, low activity levels and high alcohol consumption, with sedentary behavior increasing on average from three hours to 11 hours per day during isolation.

McEachern’s courses offer a face-to-face connection with its clients and a chance to offer more personalized advice and formatting than it can in a video conference.

One of her clients, Linda Simmons from Toronto, told CTV News that she is more likely to participate and do her best if she practices yoga in person.

“When I think to myself, ‘I’ll do the recorded yoga class,’ I never, ever do,” Simmons said. “I’ll do it in an hour. No, another hour. “But when Ashley comes to the door, I do.”

McEachern said she got the idea when she was taking yoga classes online in the fall, finding herself staring out the window and wishing her teacher was there to help.

“I miss people,” she said. “I’m missing a connection.”

She pursued the idea and enlisted the help and participation of other fitness instructors, some as far away as Vancouver Island.

“I’m basically a delivery guy, but the package I deliver is yoga and fitness,” McEachern said.

And despite the cold, McEachern said she was ready to bundle up and brave the weather to help people get active during the winter months.

“If we can create a place where people can exercise and connect with someone safely,” she said, “then let’s do it”.

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