Yoga was the most popular digital workout of the year. Photo / Getty Images
When gyms closed during lockdown, fitness fans had to find another way to exercise – and it turns out yoga was the activity of choice.
A UK report by ClassPass has revealed that yoga was the most popular digital at-home workout of the year, with a 25 per cent increase in people taking up the ancient practice (shoutout to Yoga With Adriene for helping us get through those gym class withdrawals).
Pilates, stretching and meditation were also hugely popular, showing that restorative fitness practices are more important to us than ever before, reports Metro.
Research has shown that depression and anxiety has soared amid national lockdowns, so it makes sense that people have turned to online classes promoting mental health and wellbeing.
The report also reveals that classes that don’t require equipment are the most popular, so even those without at-home fitness gear can participate.
UK’s Partnerships vice president Kinsey Livingston said yoga offered people a way to de-stress amid the pandemic and reached a whole new audience of people seeking home workout options.
We all know the benefits of getting outside for our mental health, and this is reflected in the number of outdoor classes being held increasing by 400 per cent.
And the most popular time to take a yoga class is now midday, which fits into a working from home day. This all leads to the question, will this approach to fitness last now that we’re (sort of) back to normal?
For those back in the office, the midday workout might have to shift back to before or after work.
According to ClassPass, “Lunchtime workouts have seen a 67 per cent increase in popularity. This shift can largely be attributed to a rise in remote work, and the ease of no-shower required virtual meetings.”
Once studios reopened, yoga dropped in popularity somewhat with HIIT workouts becoming more popular, as well as cycling.
The future of fitness could be a combination of both home workouts and studio classes, the research says.
“We believe that fitness fans will continue to lean into digital classes such as yoga and HIIT that require little or no equipment and return to in-studio workouts for classes that are tough to replicate at home,” Livingston says.
While yoga may have been just a last resort to keep us from missing the gym during lockdown, the habit has clearly stuck – and helped keep us sane in 2020.