The demand for yoga, pilates, meditation and outdoor or ‘online’ classes with ‘personal trainer’ (PT) increased after confinement due to covid-19 and registration in these modalities continue to increase, reveal several teachers.

Georgina Miranda, North American yoga and meditation teacher in Porto, says that since the emergency of the pandemic was lifted, there has been an increase in demand for yoga and meditation classes, considering that the greatest need for therapies that involve the physical and mental part as a whole is justified by provoking feelings of well-being to people.

People feel “better”, with “more inner power” and “controlling emotions”, even if everything is “crazy” abroad, describes Georgina, who teaches yoga and meditation classes in the center of Porto, in a space called Manna, which receives local practitioners and foreign tourists.

For Georgina, the gift of the yoga practitioner to settle in the present moment is “important”, because it helps him to connect with something bigger than his “I” and his “stress”.

People are “suffocating” with the uncertain future or with “remorse from the past” and yoga helps to enjoy the “now”, he explains.

Diana Freitas confesses that yoga has given her the “strength” and “tranquility” necessary to spend the days with her children at home during the state of emergency and that, now, she does not want to abandon the practice of meditation and yoga. ” which was something that gave me a huge support ”.

The owner of Manna, Hélder Miranda, confirms an increase in demand for therapeutic classes with the pandemic.

With the lack of definition, the presential yoga classes passed and became “sold out” a week or two in advance, he says, noting that there is an increasing demand from German and Nordic tourists in that space located in the heart of the city of Porto, glass walls and a roof that opens to the sky, giving the feeling of being in nature.

Joana Cruz, pilates teacher, balance training, mobility, muscle toning, ‘bodybalance’ and stretching training, says that classes that treat the individual as a whole (body and mind) are “gaining ground” to other modalities.

“Holistics [yoga, pilates, bodybalance] bring people tranquility that other classes don’t. When they enter a holistic room they leave it lighter. They take a completely different energy boom ”, he describes, highlighting that, with the lack of definition, the solution to practice physical activity changed from the interior of the gymnasiums to the outdoors.

Exercise in public parks, beaches, municipal gardens, areas close to the metro or even next to football stadiums has worked well, he says.

“I have been giving pilates classes abroad and I have been increasingly in demand. People are afraid to go back to the gym, to catch the virus”, he describes.

PT Vítor Silva has no doubt that there is a paradigm shift with the covid-19, noting that online classes and outdoor training are here to stay.

“A lot of people found that ‘online’ works for them, which is great” and the ‘outdoor’ in the summer time also “works very well”, because there are sun and green spaces in Porto.

Laura Silva, a student who opted for online and outdoor training with PT, says she dropped out of the gym because of the state of emergency.

“During quarantine I always took [classes] via virtual. Then, when the restrictions were lifted, I started to do it without being a virtual route because I like being in contact with nature and being with the teacher present ”, he says, adding that doing physical exercise outdoors is much more“ challenging ”.

“I feel much better and can manage my schedule differently from the gym. In most gyms, at peak times, it is difficult to do the exercise or class we want, while on the street we can exercise at any time we want without the constraints without being full of people, especially in this dark time ”.

Patrícia Fonseca, psychologist and PT, reports that, with the lack of definition, her students started to prefer the ‘outdoor’ exercise.

The teacher says that with the arrival of the pandemic, working the students’ bodies and minds with the help of psychology, could be the “perfect junction” of the two professions, because people need a more global response at an especially “challenging” time. .

André Cottim, PT in Porto, maintains that the new paradigm will continue as long as people are afraid, because going to the gym is still “synonymous with contagion”.

“The fear of the unknown and the invisible is very intrinsic in people”, he observes, referring that, the older the age group, the lower the rate of gym goers.

“It is increasingly noticed that people who go to the gym are people, as a general rule, up to 50/55 years old”.