When the lockdown was announced on March 24, Monica Kapoor (name changed) was in a fix. A fitness freak who attended yoga class thrice a week and strength training sessions at the gym on weekends, she thought her regimen would collapse. Six days into the lockdown, she saw a post on Instagram about live yoga classes by her teacher. It has been two months now and Kapoor is a regular in the classes that take place twice a week. Indeed, social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and other apps have come to the rescue of those seeking expert guidance. For the mentors, it has been a great way to widen their reach. Here are a few online classes worth exploring:
Inhale, exhale, relax
Yoga guru Bharat Thakur launched the Bharat Thakur Artistic Yoga app in the last week of April. The idea was to help locked down users continue with their yoga practice in the relative safety of their homes. Focusing on artistic yoga for good health and fitness, the app is for those who have no exposure to yoga and for those interested in finding solutions to their heath issues. Says Thakur, “The vision is to reach yoga to all and engage the users according to their level of interest and need. The app is a universe where you can explore your inner world through videos, audio books, text material, yoga classes, theory sessions, webinars, training and mentorship.” Currently, the app is concentrating on the hour-long class format to help users stay fit, healthy and stress-free and do yoga for a minimum three hours per week. However, the app offers both generic and specific classes. There are three tiers– the beginner level which helps a user stay motivated and achieve fitness goals, the learning level which takes one deeper into the science and the training level which imparts enough expertise to allow one to teach. “The principles of artistic yoga are such that the generic class itself has a transformative effect on your whole life,” says Thakur. “On the other hand, for our specific content classes, we have modules for back pain, cervical spondylosis, hypertension, insomnia, diabetes, panic attacks and heart health. The user has the choice of going through both routes.” One can download the app from the Apple store or Google Play store. Registration and classes are free.
Yoga guru Bharat Thakur launched the Bharat Thakur Artistic Yoga app to help people continue with their yoga practice in their homes.
More than skin deep
Blossom Kochhar, chairperson of the Blossom Kochhar Group of Companies, always had DIY (do-it-yourself) classes on beauty on YouTube, but the lockdown inspired her to be on Instagram and Facebook as well. Through videos that feature Kochhar herself, users get insights on aromatherapy, skincare, hair care, body care, meditation and motivation. “I have always believed that you should be able to eat whatever you put on your face because of their organic and natural properties. It made all the sense to take these classes on Instagram and Facebook, especially during the lockdown, when we can use our kitchen to keep up with the skincare routine,” says Kochhar. The videos are both generic and specific in nature. In the first, users can pose queries related to skin and hair care while the latter addresses concerns on meditation, hand hygiene, the benefits of essential oils such as eucalyptus, thyme and basil to boost the immune system. “The free during the lockdown. The grooming and wellness sessions can help rejuvenate people, motivate them and rid them of depression and anxiety,” she says.
Korean skincare brand Innisfree is following the same route. Their Masterclass with Innisfree Experts #inniexpert started toward the end of March on Instagram. Held on weekends by the brand’s training team, these classes update you on the K-beauty skincare regime and make-up tutorials. According to Avantika Singh, digital manager, Innisfree India, “We have also been doing live sessions on taking care of yourself, your mental health, fitness, diet, face yoga, and superfood benefits with influencers on our platform.” On weekdays, they have key influencers doing live sessions. The Insta classes are planned in advance, a weekly schedule with a topic drawn up and uploaded so that people can join the session they are interested in. “The content is both generic as well as age- and skin-specific. Learning about self-care beauty online is helpful, especially during the lockdown, as people have the time to take care of their skin and health,” says Singh. Most live sessions are for a duration of 45 minutes.
Lifestyle and transformation coach, nutrition and fitness expert, Simrun Chopra is quite active on Instagram and Facebook and her videos on workouts, life hacks and eating healthy have people hooked and booked. With interactive webinars such as ‘Reach Your Peak: Do detox diets really work?’ besides nutrition and fitness awareness classes, one can attend her sessions live on Instagram, watch videos on Facebook or join in during webinars. With simple tips that one can follow during the lockdown, her ‘Fit with Sim’, ‘Nourish with Sim’ and ‘Myth Busting’ sessions tell people how to have nutritious food at home, how to work out at home, and how to stay away from stress. “Learning through these platforms is possible and feasible as well. But I feel there is so much content out there on these platforms that one can get saturated easily. The best is to understand what helps you reach your goals and what’s relevant to you,” she says. Chopra’s classes run for an average of 40 minutes and she does no more than one or two sessions per week.
Cooking up a Storm
After the lockdown was announced, Sanjana Patel, creative director and executive chef at La Folie, took her culinary and pastry classes to Instagram to share one recipe a day to help people continue to cook. Now, she has stared live online classes on Zoom. Called Online Classes by The Classroom, they go by hashtags such as #TheClassroomonZoom #OnlineLearning, and cover pastry, chocolate and baking basics. Conducted by Patel herself with help from her Sous Chef Zahabia Mukhtiar, the classes cover fundamentals and basic techniques as well as advanced topics from the world of pastry, chocolate making and baking. “Our curriculum covers the topics of chocolate-making, pastry, bakery and breads, international as well as regional cuisine, diet-friendly classes and food styling,” says Patel. “The MasterClasses include the art of glazing, fundamentals of choux pastry, Belgian chocolate-making, sourdough bread basics, healthy baking, travel and tea cakes.” The classes can be of 3-6-hour duration, depending on the level of difficulty of the class. To sign up for any of these classes, one needs to visit www.theclassroombylafolie.com and they will get a message telling them to participate in the online class through Zoom.
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