A fitness instructor from Harrogate is doing her bit to help stressed out women from across the region and beyond, unwind and reconnect with their minds and bodies whilst in lockdown.
Elishea Boswell, a 32 year old entrepreneur who usually runs her business, Barre and Body out of the Barre and Body studio on Cheltenham Mount, in Harrogate, and Studio Sixteen, in North Leeds, has responded to lockdown by expanding her services after 100 per cent of her income disappeared overnight.
She is now teaching her live classes through Zoom and social media, after refusing to just shut up shop when lockdown was enforced and is also launching wider online services to support more women nationwide.
Providing online fitness during self-isolation, Elishea, who is a professionally trained dancer, and who has worked as a fitness instructor in some of the top health spa’s in the UK, teaches a mixture of Pilates, Yoga and Ballet techniques, which improve balance, enhances flexibility, builds strength, perfects posture, protects health and enhances focus.
She has seen a particular interest in the classes from business women & mums in the region who need to carve out some time for themselves.
Elishea said: “Initially I took my classes online to enable me to continue serving my existing clients -but soon word spread and I had requests from non-clients asking if they could join. Many of these requests were from mums, who were at home with kids, struggling to commit to exercise or find any time for relaxation.
“Barre is a bit of a mixture of the two as it’s a great body workout but it is also really powerful from a self-care capacity as the exercises are focused on the body and the mind, however it is not for the faint hearted, be prepared to sweat but it really helps for unwinding, and refocusing after a stressful day too.”
She added: “Maternal Mental Health month (May) made me really think about all the mums in our region, who might be struggling right now, with so many pressures on them, juggling kids and work. I wanted to do my bit to support as many others as possible by making my services accessible and taking my business online.
“I know how important the Barre and Body classes are for people on a regular week, but during this unprecedented time I knew I had to do something to bring Barre to more homes.
“I am so passionate about sharing the benefits of Barre to not only my clients but others who are struggling during such a difficult time. I have seen the benefits that classes can bring and personally experienced the positive changes that a little bit of sweat, breathing, and concentration can have on our overall health and wellbeing.”
Elishea worked professionally as a touring dancer for more than ten years, having performed for some of the biggest DJ’s in the world before she felt drawn to settle more and find a career where she could combine her love of dance with fitness.
Then she discovered Barrecore in London, where she went on to become a manager and lead instructor.
Elishea said: “Barre was the perfect mix of dance and fitness and I couldn’t believe I had found something I was as passionate about as dancing. I trained and lived in London for about six months before moving back up North to run their studios up here.
“However, unfortunately they closed these locations and I was left out of a job -but I had made my life in Yorkshire and I’d found something so perfect for me I know I couldn’t give it up so I took the leap and created my own business and ‘Barre and Body’ was formed.
“My business is not just a business for me – when I teach a class it is my therapy – and I feel privileged to have a job that I totally love. I am a firm believer in waking up every day and feeling like going to work is not ‘work’. I want Barre and Body to be a community, where clients come to work out, de-stress and feel like they are a part of something”.
Elishea is now working to grow the brand so she can support people from all over the country via a new online membership, ‘Barre and Body Collective’ due to launch in June.
Barre and Body Collective will be a platform with pre-recorded barre classes to choose from, alongside nutritional advice and healthy meals and snack recipes. Elishea is setting out to support her clients’ overall health and wellbeing goals.
Elishea’s Top 5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Body & Mind in Lockdown are:-
- Routine – Wake up and go to bed at a reasonable time; getting at least 7 hours a night.
- Eat well – Make healthier choices as much as possible but its ok to have a treat.
- Exercise – At least once a day, whether it be a walk or an online class.
- Time – Don’t forget about time for yourself. Whether you are working or have kids once you have finished or put the kids to bed do something that will make you happy.
- Gratitude – Be kind to yourself and others; we only get one life and it really is something special.