With so much going on in the world, it’s important to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Few people understand that better than artists as theatres, museums, and other venues remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Artists Inspiring Health and Wellness
Amidst the challenges facing their industry, these artists are making it their mission to help others maintain their mental and physical health. Check out these great follows and apps for health and wellness inspiration.
If you want to start living a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start, Michelle's YouTube channel is the place to start. Previously seen in the first national tour of Disney’s Aladdin, West is now dedicating her energy to inspiring and motivating followers to get up and get moving. Her videos include workout playlists, tips on how to start running, and even healthy recipes. Most recently, she has started posting her personal workouts as well. Her rooftop workout is a perfect way to get a good sweat going even when the gyms are closed.
Performer and fitness jack-of-all-trades, Emily Stokes, literally can do it all. She’s a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer, pilates instructor, and meditation teacher on top of being an actor with a stellar soprano voice. Her classes use a combination of pilates and barre-based strength workouts designed to improve alignment and fire up the core. After teaching in commercial and corporate venues for almost 10 years, she has started her own fitness website where you can join her for classes via Zoom. Currently, group classes are available with a $10 donation or pay what you can. Private classes are available and negotiated separately.
New York native, Aisha Mitchell has danced with some of the most esteemed performance groups in the city, including Alvin Ailey. In quarantine, she started her “social distancing series” (both on her Instagram @alegaday and on @socialdistancingseries), IGTV yoga flow videos for yogis of all levels to do at home. The Social Distancing Series is a collective of artists creating content intended to uplift the body and mind. Besides yoga, the series also includes vegan cooking classes and guided meditations.
Hamilton actor, Charnette Batey, began teaching yoga 3 years ago after being certified through Yoga Alliance. She’s currently using her yoga practice for good. Every Saturday, Batey leads a free yoga class where any donations she receives go to the Loveland Foundation, an organization that provides mental health services to communities of color with a special focus on Black women and girls. Her classes center around finding balance and inner peace to keep hearts open during these challenging times. Check out her Facebook for updates on weekly classes. Private classes can be arranged as well.
Traveling extensively as a dancer, Kayley needed ways to stay in shape no matter where she was in the world. That’s why she created Travelfit. Through her site, Kayley leads 45-minute classes 4-6 days a week that will leave you drenched in sweat. A fusion of barre, HIIT, boot camp, pilates, yoga, and strength training, her classes will whip you into shape. Designed to be done anywhere and without equipment, they’re perfect for those still stuck at home. Virtual private lessons and group class packages can be purchased on her website. For a sample, check out her Instagram (@travelfitbykayley) for free workouts posted 2-3 times a week.
Tap dancer extraordinaire, Patrick Heffernan, completed his 200-hour yoga teaching certification at Sadhana Yoga Studio in Hudson, NY. Heffernan uses yoga to break down the oppressive structures at play in both the mind and body. With a focus on correct postures and alignment, his creative sequences have a sense of humor and joy. His practice also includes chanting, kirtan, and meditation. His Facebook is full of morning mindfulness videos centered on breathing, wisdom, and reflection. He’ll soon be sharing videos to his Instagram (@pat_heffnyc) as well.
Millions are unemployed and have no idea when they’ll be able to return to work, especially those in the arts. Headspace, a guided meditation and mindfulness app, doesn’t want the unemployed to be left without resources and are therefore making Headspace Plus available free of charge to anyone out of work due to COVID-19. The Headspace library has hundreds of guided meditations focusing on everything from stress to relationships. There are mini-meditations for those short on time or new to mindfulness exercises. Start the day with the Wake-Up video series to help guide your intention throughout the day and finish with a sleepcast to help you have a more restful night. The Move Mode is a perfect way for those doing at-home workouts or running to bring mindfulness into their fitness regimen.