The mandated closure of non-essential businesses hasn't stopped Sault-based Jade Wellness Studio, owned by Shirling Kao, from offering fitness and yoga classes to the community.
Maintaining optimism and compassion during these trying times, Kao has generously donated free virtual online classes via Zoom.
“This is an anxious time and we really want to be supporting our community by making healing accessible to all,” says Kao.
While paid classes are still available, such as the Power Flow Pilates and Ultimate Core Challenge Pilates, the many free options are a generous contribution to the Sault’s community, especially considering the number of businesses and workers who have lost income.
Those looking to participate in a specific paid class have to go through the “Events” tab to register. To access free classes, just go to Jadewellnessstudio.com, find the “Classes” tab, then scroll to “Schedule”. Most of the free classes are for beginners and accommodate any ability.
One of Jade’s best offerings is its “Sitting Meditation Class” available at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
“Our instructor, Angelique Lemay, really wanted to offer that early class for first responders who had to go to work early. While it’s just a half hour session, everyone should know this is a quick way to tap into a centred and grounded space – you don’t have to know how to meditate. You will be walked through the entire process.”
Kao says that meditation can absolutely transform one’s mind when it comes to approaching the current health crisis of COVID-19.
“Many spiritual teachers I am in contact with say that this period of time is a mental challenge – not a physical challenge,” explains Kao. “The mind is always going to a place of fear, doubt, and worry – but if you start your day with meditation, you can remain focused and more steady.”
She recommends it to anyone working on the frontlines of the pandemic – from those who work in hospitals to grocery store clerks.
As an extra bonus, Kao says that each class is taped and can be virtually “sent” to you if you are unable to participate in a live class.
“For example, you may be taking care of a child and unable to join, that’s no problem,” says Kao, who has made self-care modalities like yoga and meditation free, easy, and accessible.
When asked whether her own business will withstand the crisis, Kao says it will thanks to the Ontario government.
“I’m from Taiwan and the businesses there don’t have the kinds of loans and funding that we have been given here,” she says. “So I think we will be okay.”
In the meantime, Kao encourages everyone to take advantage of Jade’s free workshops and online classes to stay as well as possible during such challenging times.