Hot Yoga Santee keeps its cool and moves online

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Courtesy photo Lisa Barlow has worked to bring her yoga instruction online while her studio remains closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hot Yoga Santee owner Lisa Barlow says she is down to just a handful of instructors but has managed to transition some classes to an online setting in an attempt to keep business going while the studio is closed for social distancing.

When the studio is open, she says, their full schedule usually includes heated and non-heated yoga classes as well as strength training, cardio, conditioning and cardio-yoga fusion classes.

However, with COVID-related social distancing measures in place, she says they’re slowly but effectively ramping up their online classes.

“I’ve had to spread things pretty thin but we still have classes morning and evening,” Barlow said.

Barlow said classes are now being held through the Zoom app and participants can sign up to take a class just as they would have in the studio.

“It took us a little bit to transition because we didn’t have this in place before but those instructors that were interested in taking part have been conducting online classes,” Barlow said.

She and co-owner John Szczepanowski are also building an online archive with each class that is held on Zoom so students are able to take class asynchronously if the limited time slots do not fit their schedule.

Barlow said her biggest regret by holding classes online is that she is temporarily unable to connect in person.

“I’m glad we’re able to get some of this going online but it really is a better experience in person because you can do hands-on adjustments, tailor your flows and workouts based on what’s happening in the room. You lose that personal touch, no pun intended and in this industry, that face-to-face connection is so important,” Barlow said.

“However, we’re trying to make it known that even though our doors are closed in person, we have all these unexpected offerings online so people can keep moving while indoors,” Barlow said.

Business was already competitive, she said, and after being open three years they were just beginning to gain traction in the community. She says the online addition could be a blessing in disguise.

“We’ve been open three years now and if we can hold on through this, I hope we can come out on the other side. We might have to adopt a larger online presence because the physical studio might not be here after June,” Barlow said.