As Covid-19 restrictions move to Level 2 today and group exercise classes are allowed to begin, fitness instructors are welcoming back clients for the first time.
For those working in the health and wellbeing industry, who have had to stop running gyms and classes during lockdown, it has been a challenging year.
The momentous day will mean classes can resume again and for the instructors as well as the class participants, it will be an emotional moment.
Kilted Yogi Finlay Wilson is re-opening his Dundee studio Heart Space Yoga and Bodyworks fully for the first time in a year.
He said: “I can’t wait to see everyone again – it will be the first time I’ve seen the kids who come to class for example.
“A lot of people are really connected to the space and the studio and come five days a week so it’s been hard not being able to see them.”
Finlay is offering his family and kids programme free Monday to Friday and in addition has a range of classes for different age groups including a yoga for back pain class.
Although he has continued to offer online classes during lockdown, being back in the studio will be significant.
He added: “A lot of older class members didn’t use the online classes. They were a means to an end, but it’s the human connection that’s been missing and what will make it really emotional.”
Susan Simpson from Mind and Body Studio in Kirkcaldy is also excited to open her doors to group exercise once again.
She said: “Mentally lockdown has been hard on all of us.
“It will be such an emotional moment to welcome people back in for group exercise.
“I’m sure it will be hard for some people not to be overcome because we will be able to stand in a room together again for the first time in so long.”
Susan added, those returning to group classes will be able to focus on the wellbeing benefits.
“We’re good to go from Monday May 17 and are really looking forward to welcoming people back in for group exercise.
“We have three classes running in the morning – Body Pump and Reformer Pilates and we also have an online class as well.
“We’re trying to offer something for those who are still happy to exercise in their own home.
“I think like many people I’m craving a bit of normality and getting open again represents that for me.
“It will be great to see people we haven’t for so long and welcome new people in too.
“For me, it’s about forgetting what you look like and doing something that will make you feel better afterwards.”