When it comes to health and fitness activities, virtual options provide a wide choice and an intimate experience—at the same time. Geographically, you can “be” anywhere for class in seconds. The online format might inspire you to try classes you would be intimidated to try in person. Or, if you have a favorite instructor, a virtual class allows you to connect with them in a format where no one is “in the back of the room” and you can clearly hear and see them for a more direct connection. Some things are better in person, there is no doubt, but we invite you to meet some of Whatcom County’s most vibrant fitness folk who will get you moving, even if you’re staying in place.
📸 – Andrea Michelle Photography
At Bellingham Barre3, classes are live-streamed via Zoom daily and the first class is always free! Classes range from 30 minutes up to an hour and include strength training, cardio and mindfulness, with routines set to music. They deliver a great full body workout that is fun, invigorating and motivating.
Don’t be misguided by the term ‘barre’ as you don’t need a ballet bar to participate. “You can use the back of a chair or a countertop when you’re working out at home,” said Caitlin Walker, owner.
Walker taught group fitness classes for more than 20 years before opening the Bellingham franchise of Barre3 in December 2012. “These days we’re trying to find ways to meet people where they are and help them find value in virtually joining us,” she said.
Walker livestreams classes via Zoom and will occasionally hold classes outside in the underground parking at the studio, located at 2131 Premier Way in Barkley Village. All Barre 3’s Zoom classes are recorded too, allowing videos and Barre3 to be accessed at any time, anywhere.
“This is a place where people can build community and add some happiness to their lives,” she noted. “The fact that livestream can be taken from anywhere gives us an opportunity to share our classes with anyone, anywhere.”
Insider Tip: Walker is also opening a spin studio called Ride Culture, this Spring.
Never miss a chance to dance! Thanks to Bellingham Jazzercise, you can now live stream their classes anywhere. Bellingham Jazzercise hosts a variety of classes including Dance Mixx, which features cardio, strength training and stretching, Interval Dance Mixx or Junior Jazzercise for kids.
What makes Bellingham Jazzercise different? “At Jazzercise the routines aren’t just dance – they focus on different body parts and muscle work while being fun at the same time,” said owner Jenn Lounsberry.
Every two weeks, Bellingham Jazzercise receives new routines to keep the classes and courses new and exciting. Participants don’t need any equipment either. “We use weights in the class but they’re easily substituted with soup cans or vegetables if you don’t have weights. And we do floor work so if you don’t have a yoga mat, a carpeted surface with a towel works just fine.”
Just like they would be in-person, the level of energy, encouragement and enthusiasm at Bellingham Jazzercise make the classes genuine and fun. Even from home, you get the feeling you’re participating and connected in the group session and with Bellingham.
It can be a struggle to find a yoga studio that suits your style and budget. But thanks to Bellingham local, Lacy Kemp, no one has to struggle again! Kemp is a self-taught practitioner who started offering free classes to the Bellingham community about five years ago. Today, Kemp is still livestreaming her daily classes to the world for free and making perfectly paired custom playlists to help get you in the flow.
Kemp, who is also the communications manager for Kona Bicycles, moved to Bellingham six years ago “to be closer to Canada for the mountain biking.” Yoga has been integral to her life for the past 20 years and teaching it is important to her mental health. “This is what I have to give back to the community,” she said.
“There are people who would benefit from yoga but can’t afford a drop-in fee. My free classes are a really nice way to get like-minded people together without a price tag, and I think it’s an experience everyone should be able to have in their lives.”
Kemp was typically hosting two classes a week in the evenings, at Lost Giants Cider Company in Bellingham, where her sessions would attract 100 people each time. In the summer, Kemp could be found teaching classes at Zuanich Park, a park in Downtown Bellingham with gorgeous views of Bellingham Bay.
Don’t underestimate the workout you’ll get in a yoga session, Kemp cautions. “The classes are challenging athletically but they’re also fun and lighthearted. A lot of participants appreciate the targeted work we do for the muscles they use most in sports.” Yes, there are tons of free yoga classes available online, but no one has a community quite like you’ll find at a session with Kemp.
Check out Bellingham Treehouse Yoga for the full class schedule or check out Kemp’s YouTube for past classes.