Fitness centers like gyms and yoga studios have slowly opened back up, but are not doing business as they used to.

With the new industry guidelines from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), fitness centers have had to transition to alternative norms.

Some yoga studios, such as Good Karma in Murphys, Morning Sun in Valley Springs and Meraki Asana in Copperopolis have had to utilize technology to assist students during lockdown. Upon reopening, some have started in-person sessions, while others continue virtual sessions for the safety of their students and instructors.

Those that have reopened in-person sessions have had to adhere to the CDPH guidelines, however enforcing facial coverings has been challenging.

Amanda Menezes from Meraki Asana has had the “make-do-or-do-without” mentality during reopening. Her students can wear facial coverings at their own discretion, but still abide by the 6-foot social distancing regulation.

Wearing a mask during breathing techniques is a bit of a hazard, Menezes said.

Meraki Asana will continue to offer virtual sessions but has reopened for private sessions and outdoor sessions. All sessions involve adequate air flow with open doors and HEPA filters, Menezes said Monday.

Morning Sun Yoga in Valley Springs reopened in-person sessions on Monday. The studio now takes thermal temperatures at the door and practices thorough sanitation after each class. Instructor Carol Beck Crosby recommends masks and has even attempted multiple designs and fittings to see which one would fit best for sessions.

The Calaveras Chamber of Commerce provided PPE to some businesses (Morning Sun Yoga included), like sanitizer, gloves and masks, Crosby said.

One yoga studio has decided, for the time being, to continue virtual sessions and highly limit in-person sessions.

“(With) the amount of space we have, if we did the 6-feet spacial distancing, there wouldn’t be enough students,” said Dana Oneto of Good Karma.

“The sense of well-being is the purpose of yoga,” she said. “It’s a great thing to do from home to stay safe and help keep the community safe. Practicing at home is a great option. You know the source. It’s reliable. It’s familiar. People want that sense of community.”

Good Karma has opened for private, one-on-one sessions, but with new measures in place. Six-foot social distancing is required, along with an open-air environment. Facial coverings are optional. New classes are being added for virtual sessions, and all packages are sliding scale.

Oneto hopes to reopen in-person sessions in September, depending on the state of the world.

Gym owner Kenny Lee of Family 4 Fitness Center in Angels Camp has implemented changes to comply with the CDPH guidelines. Towel service is no longer available – patrons must bring their own – and there are disinfectant bottles and paper towels everywhere for people to use, he said. The bathrooms are cleaned every hour. Showers are open, but Lee is limiting one person in at a time. The lockers are spread out, but still usable. Facial masks are optional.

Mornings are usually reserved for seniors, Lee said.

Classes are being limited to about eight people at the most, but are available.

“Calaveras County has been lucky,” Lee said. “People are pretty careful. Everyone knows everybody. People are all friends like family. Watching out for everyone.”

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Holly has a degree in anthropology and will receive a bachelor’s degree in English soon, with an emphasis in creative writing. She has moved to the area from southern California and shares her life with a Siberian husky and three rescue cats.

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