While the current shelter-in-place requirements are surely not ideal, it seems as though the cultural sphere is largely adaptable in the midst of a global pandemic; everyday activities that no longer meet social distancing regulations – such as workout sessions, educational classes, and worship services – have quickly evolved to fit an online format. If you’re looking to keep your physical and mental health up to par throughout this indefinite period, here are some easily accessible online services open to the public.
edX.org: This website offers academic courses from prestigious institutions, including Harvard University and UC Berkeley, to name a few, in a fully online and self-paced format. Classes are also free-of-charge. Courses vary across time commitment and total length, and the topics available are practically endless. Whether your passions lie in Shakespeare, data analysis, women’s history, or all of the above, you’re sure to discover a course that piques your interest.
Barry’s Bootcamp: This quintessential, full-body group workout center has now migrated to the virtual platform. Follow along with free classes from the comfort of your own home via Instagram Live. Sessions, led by certified instructors, take place at various times throughout each day to accommodate varying time zones and sleep schedules.
Yale University’s Science of Well-Being: This online class is adapted from the in-person version first introduced by Laurie Santos at Yale University in 2018. The course soon became the most popular in the history of the institution and is now offered free of charge on Coursera.org. The class offers a unique look at battling anxiety and stress in daily life, and is especially influential during the current circumstances.
YogaSource: During this volatile and overwhelming period, it is important to nurture not just the body, but the mind, and whether it’s a relaxing Vinyasa or fast-paced pilates session, YogaSource’s online classes will do the trick. While these classes do require payment, pre-existing packages or memberships are still valid.
Virtual Dance Classes: The outbreak of COVID-19 has taken an especially brutal toll on the entertainment industry as dance competitions, conventions, classes, studios, and companies have been shut down or canceled; from small town dance studios to professionals, all are affected. Dancers have lost an entire season for which they’ve been preparing for months, while professional dancers living from job to job lose money as TV events and Broadway shows continue to shut down. But even with panic setting in everywhere, the dance community continues to bring positivity into the world by offering virtual dance classes so that people have something to look forward to while stuck in their homes. Many choreographers host these online dance classes across all types of social media platforms, such as CLI Studios on Instagram, and some are free, though some require a subscription. Through these efforts, the dance community is trying to make the best out of an unfortunate situation to continue connecting people with people through art.