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Los Altos fitness studios stream for students as they stay indoors

Alkalign Studios” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pedestrians walk their dog by Alkalign Studios on First Street in Los Altos March 20. With Bay Area and statewide orders imposing shelter-in-place mandates, the fitness studio has taken to streaming classes online.

Updated March 24 at 12 p.m.

The Town Crier is checking in on businesses across town impacted by the county's shelter-in-place order announced Monday (March 16) due to the novel coronavirus. This is the fourth and final part of the series; it focuses on local fitness studios and gyms.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom announcing a statewide shelter in place without an end date in sight the evening of March 19, those already under the Bay Area-wide order enacted two days prior may be more concerned than they were about when life will revert to normal.

Although the anxious can no longer visit their fitness studios or gyms for relief, owners and instructors at many of these local establishments are streaming classes their clients can do at home.

Alkalign Studios founder and owner Erin Paruszewski closed her studio March 14 and anticipates she will likely be closed until the end of April. In the interim, Paruszewski is streaming classes for all levels to anyone interested, she said. A trial of “seven days of sanity for $17” can be redeemed on the First Street location’s website.

“Stress, anxiety and panic will lead to paralysis,” Paruszewski said in an email to the Town Crier. “In times like these we have to band together and get creative. This is a chance for communities to really support each other. This too shall pass.”

Alkalign Studios neighbor barre3 closed its doors March 16 “with heavy hearts,” according to ownership.

“We remained hopeful that we could move forward with continuing to serve our community, but with the health and safety of our clients and team members as our number-one priority, I have made the difficult choice to close because that is what is needed for my studio and community,” studio owner Alene Baronian wrote on Instagram.

Baronian said barre3 is offering its community access to “hundreds of barre3 online workouts.” In addition, a handful of live classes have been offered through Instagram Live since March 16.

Passion Fit owner Reena Vokoun, a Town Crier columnist, is live-streaming classes to her “crew” via Google Hangouts Meet Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The first class away from the Fremont Avenue studio on March 17 was a free pilot, recorded so clients could go back and do it when convenient for them. Because of the financial toll that the shelter in place order is likely taking on many members of the community, Vokoun is offering 50% off single in-person class rate on the livestream classes.

Vokoun will continue the online classes after the shelter in place is lifted, as it is something she has wanted to offer for a long time, she wrote on Facebook. She also has a library of recorded workouts on her YouTube channel. Those interested in live classes can register at passionfit.com.

Yoga of Los Altos closed March 16 for the safety and wellbeing of staff and the community, according to a post on its Instagram.

“In light of no treatment and vaccine being available, we feel that this is the only prudent step to take,” staff said in the message. “The good news is we have not received any information to indicate that an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been in our studio.”

'EXERCISE IS NOT CANCELED'

Yoga instructors such as Hana Raferty, Katie Sinnott, Jonathan Rickert and Ariana Schwarz are offering free or reduced rotating live-streamed classes to Yoga of Los Altos patrons. Offerings have been updated nearly daily this week through the studio’s social media accounts.

CrossFit Los Altos announced the closure of its brick-and-mortar gym March 17 but immediately informed clients via Instagram that services would be provided through virtual training. Keeping the same appointment and, in turn, the same routine during the week was already helping those loyal to the Fremont Avenue location keep their sanity, a testimonial in the post said.

Mixx Fitness may be shuttered for the time being, but students can sign up for classes on Rancho Shopping Center's newest fitness studio's website.

Fitness chain locations in Los Altos like Curves and Snap Fitness are aiming to take care of their customers near and far, branding proved March 20.

Curves is offering the public several types of fitness classes, including stretching, on its corporate Facebook page.

“Remember, #ExerciseIsNotCanceled!” representatives reminded members and nonmembers visiting the page. “Even if you're at home, you don't have to be on the couch! Get up and get moving.”

Snap Fitness is promoting 90 days of free access to at-home workouts in partnership with FitnessOnDemand, a virtual video fitness program. The chain has also taken to its Instagram page to give general health tips, like substitutes for equipment at home (milk jugs for weights, stairs for cardio and paper plates for disc sliders).

Momentum Cycling has not been able to offer online classes for its regulars but did announce on Instagram after closing March 14 that all reservations between that date and March 27 would be canceled. On March 19, owner Victoria Sommers posted a picture of she and the rest of her team on Zoom, the group video chat app becoming ever more popular during the quarantine.

“Our team (is) keeping the momentum going even though we are closed,” Sommers posted.

The Town Crier will continue to update our coverage of how local businesses are functioning (or not functioning) in the wake of COVID-19. If you have information we haven’t touched on, please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Keep the Town Crier publishing through the coronavirus crisis. Advertise with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or become a sustaining subscriber.

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