Even as some gyms start re-opening across the country, many will remain closed indefinitely. If you're looking to supplement your current membership or support your favorite instructor,
donation-based online workout classes can up your fitness game and support small businesses all at the same time.
pay-what-you-can fitness classes IRL, filling studios' virtual tip jars can go a long way toward keeping gyms in business. And since you're probably not getting that oat milk latte every day anymore, you might have some extra change to slide towards your favorite studio.
The coolest thing about the abundance of gyms offering donation-based workouts is that you can spread the love far and wide. Maybe your local gym doesn't offer the virtual boot camp you've been looking for, but a fitness center two states away might. You might be looking for a livestreamed boxing class at that awkward hour between your two daily Zoom calls, and a boutique on the other side of the country fills that slot. It's also easier to find classes by and for POC, by and for queer folks, and maybe even form connections in those virtual communities if your local community isn't that diverse.
Try these 19 donation-based workout classes you can do online, and see how your fitness horizons open up.
All forms of exercise start with breathwork.
Black Girls Breathing is a space for Black womxn to de-stress and dive into community-based emotional and spiritual health through meditative breathwork. Build your sense of self-love and prepare for your next great mental and physical workout with sliding-scale virtual breathwork circles.
Whether you're a Tuesday at 6 p.m. or a Thursday at noon type of exerciser, you can jog your way into the
Nonnormative Body Club's virtual bodyweight strength and cardio fitness classes. You can give a sliding scale donation (which includes a zero dollar option) or just settle in for the closed-captioned virtual fitness classes complete with the exercise modifications you might need.
You've got no choice but to work from home, so you might as well
#WerkFromHome. Whether you're looking for donation-based boxing, CrossFit, or yoga classes, LGBTQ health and wellness organization The OUT Foundation serves up something for you. Each week, the Foundation will feature two or three LGBTQ fitness instructors to lead workouts for a $7 donation.
Sometimes you just have to HIIT it at home.
Liber8Fit offers power yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and recovery yoga, all through the comfort of Zoom. The studio updates their weekly livestream schedule on Instagram, and donations can be made to @liber8fit on Venmo.
Don't worry, you won't have to crank your thermostat up for these
hot yoga online sessions. Hot Asana Yoga Studio is bringing all kinds of yoga classes for all levels into your living room, from 30-minute flows to specific videos teaching you how to do a pike handstand. You can donate right on their site.
If you've been looking for a longer yoga practice,
Village Yoga hosts hour-long sessions for suggested donations. Their videos are labeled with levels so you can find the right amount of challenge for your own body. You can even plug your practice into curated Spotify yoga playlists. Donations can be made through Venmo on their website.
Barry's is looking to raise at least $10,000 for global medical equipment provider Direct Relief, and they're doing so by bringing workouts into your home every Saturday morning. These classes are free for first responders and healthcare workers, and everyone else can donate, with the proceeds going to Direct Relief. Yoga to the People has always been donation-based to improve access to yoga year-round. Whether you tune into their workshops, their virtual yoga sessions, or their podcast, you can donate right on the site.
When Monday is looming and the Sunday scaries hit, why not Zoom your way through a yoga session? Weekly Sunday morning classes from
The Yoga Studio 24 are donation-based and aimed specifically at reducing your anxiety.
The physical doors might be closed, but the yoga studio
Soul Fire Collective is still bringing your practice to you. Since you can mute yourself through the 30-minute classes, you're encouraged to blast your own tunes. These yoga classes use a pay what you can system, with all transactions made through their site.
No matter what level of experience you bring to your mat,
Union Street Yoga will have a quarantine session for you. Because they're offering classes at many different times of day, you have a better chance of squeezing in some livestreamed yoga to your new WFH routine. All virtual classes are donation-based during the pandemic.
Focused on being accessible to all kinds of bodies and experience levels,
Cambio Yoga makes it clear that every pose is optional — it's more about forming community than what poses you're comfortable sinking into. Donations are encouraged, but payment is optional. "Come as you are," Cambio's site says, "and let your heart and personal financial situation be your guide as to what you choose to contribute."
Looking to fuse your yoga practice with some Pilates moves? That's exactly what you'll get from
Archipelago's virtual classes. To join their yoga fusion online community, you can opt to give a suggested donation when you "buy" tickets.
Third Root Community Health Center
With everything from
yoga classes for queer and trans folks to donation-based meditation classes, Third Root Community Health Center is bringing affirming yoga practices into your living room. Donations can be made through Paypal. We are shining a spotlight on some of the millions of small businesses now challenged by COVID-19. This is part of an ongoing commitment our parent company, Bustle Digital Group, is making to support small businesses throughout the entire month of May. Tell us about your favorite small business on social media using #SmallBusinessSalutes.