Exercise can be a fraught word for many of us, laced with the trappings of culturally sustained body shame. Even for those who might consider themselves less prone to experiencing stigma and anxiety around their physical presence and presentation, the subject or idea of exercise can prompt discomfort and wariness. Yet it is also true that we all have a body — and no matter how often we find ourselves leaving it, it is always there when we return to ourselves.
It’s no coincidence, then, that in the wake of worldwide quarantining, folks have taken to all kinds of video platforms to share different exercise techniques and somatic modalities with viewers that might otherwise never venture their way. Not only because so many of us are barred from our regular physical routines (walking to work, swimming at the Y, practice at the dojo) but because there are many of us who need an hour in our day dedicated solely to connecting with our bodies rather than digesting the news. My childhood was mostly sedentary and my adulthood has been a crash course toward embodiment, so I relate to this need and have truly felt the abundance of exercise options in this time of limitations.
For fun, I have assembled a list of instructors and studios offering discounted or donation-based classes and paired them with a zodiac sign they match well with. Check out the classes of your moon sign (what you’re doing in private) or your rising (your aspirational self) as well as your sun (what you feel most capable of approaching). If embodiment involving sweat feels like too much in this moment, I recommend exploring a virtual breathwork class, like the kind offered by Corpus Ritual monthly, or a moon-themed somatic ritual by Embodied Astrology which are both sliding-scale. And, for disabled readers who find most class offering are not aligned with their needs, the folks over at Nonnormative Body Club have a reputation for getting it right in an affordable and conscientious way.
Aries might know exactly how to get sweaty at the gym, when it comes to getting stuck at home, they are impatient fire signs that yearn to feel the burn. Wanting to be challenged doesn’t mean they don’t also want to have fun. Manifest Bodyworks is a Pilates and strength training studio that is currently offering donation-based Queerlates every Saturday at 4 p.m. CDT on Instagram Live at Manifest Any Body. Tune in to watch Aries instructor Travis Sisk grace the screen with his killer onesies and tune into yourself, your core, your fabulous indoor possibilities.
Taurus has a reputation for being more of a couch potato than a gym rat, but get close to enough of these tenacious types and you’ll find out that Taurus likes to earn their rest and repose by giving their all in any activity they choose. In fact, Taurean people are often drawn to extreme methods of physical exertion, especially nature-fueled ones, like bouldering and backcountry camping. But when outside expeditions are out of the question, a bored Taurus might find weightlifting to be just the ticket. Luckily, Dr. Lady Velez offers strength training classes almost every day of the week that are no nonsense and donation-based.
Geminis are best known for their fast minds and dexterous hands, the kind of people who are found typing up manuscripts and tickling ivories. But one other quality lots of Geminis share is their bottled-up rage! You know what’s good for bottled up rage? Intentional and strategic release. Luckily for Geminis everywhere, the folks at 36 Chambers in New Orleans are offering Live Online Kickboxing classes five days a week for a five dollar drop-in fee.
Cancers are often depicted as homebodies, snuggled up in blankets and watching rom-coms. But being a homebody is not the same as being homebound, and a Cancer who can’t escape to an ocean or a dog park is a Cancer who is bound to start feeling really cooped up. Not just in their house, but in their crab shell. It’s good for a Cancer to stay deeply connected to their core sense of self and their core strength in times like this. And, for this reason, a Pilates class that is deeply invested in body diversity and somatic wisdom is just right. Good thing that Cancerian Georgia Maxine is offering an all-levels, all-bodies donation-based Pilates class every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on Instagram Live at @MoveWithGeorgia.
Whether you’re an extroverted Leo that demands attention or a quiet Leo that commands it, being a Leo means being the heart of a room, the life of a party. Sheltering in place, however, is often the opposite of a party. When the isolation life is too lonely and you’re longing to be revived by extravagant company, why not turn to HYPERBODY, a Leo and marvelous fitness maniac? Hyperbody is offering $5 Livestream Zoom classes through their own website as well as through Everybody Los Angeles that include options such as “Butt Stuff” and “Cyborb Abs.” Maybe you can even catch a strength-training class set to hair metal that involves regular breaks from broomstick air guitar.
Virgos are creatures of habit and when their routines get broken, their brains are bound to follow suit. Adaption is not impossible, it just takes a great deal of concentrated housekeeping energy to get there. For the Virgo who likes to keep themselves as “right and tight” as they keep their space and their boundaries, Jasmine Danielle’s Instagram Live Barre classes might be just what the doctor ordered. Jasmine offers these energetic, generous and informative, classes for free or by donation every Monday and Wednesday at noon CST, perfect for mid-day re-energizing.
For the Libras, especially the Libra moons, there’s just something that feels good about an exercise routine that is well known and accessible to lots of people. Libras love knowing what’s popular and why, even if it’s not their thing, because they both egalitarian and good-humored. That’s why Yoga with Adriene seems like a good offering for Libras everywhere. Adrienne’s videos as free to access and come in playlists based on skill-level, physical needs, and even emotional Level. And, while Libras are known for having a hard time with making decisions, they tend to experience a kind of collective-minded relief in knowing that what they’re enjoying has something to offer someone else that is completely different from them.
Sometimes, it can be hard for Scorpios, and Scorpio Moons especially, to feel like they are a part of this world. Harder still to feel close to their corporeal self when humanity feels far from humane and certainly far from the sacred. For those Scorpios, and even for the sillier less moody ones, Camille Barton ‘s beautiful somatic alchemy can open the door to embodiment. Through Karada House, Camille offers a regular 10€ class called Werk which, “is a dance ritual designed to get you in your body, while helping you to develop somatic awareness, body autonomy and knowledge of how to self-regulate your nervous system in times of stress and anxiety” created with specifically QTIBPOC people in mind.
Here’s the truth, Sagittarians are so curious, so generally game to try something new and explore the unknown, that almost any experience offered is an experience they’ll give “the old college try.” Yet what list of exercises to try at home would be complete without Jane Fonda’s Work Out? A Sagittarian Queen she can be seen on TikTok calling her viewers to climate crisis activism with a work-out fake out. And, in her honor, go ahead and join her Fire Drill Fridays in whatever virtual way is possible. But, also, her work out routines, created in a time of personal and creative hardship, are a production of her salvation and they feel just like it too.
Capricorns are very serious about getting their work done and almost nothing else. Despite their reputations as fuddy-duddies, Capricorns are often people who love something unique — especially if it’s being offered by someone who knows what the heck they are doing. Still, someone who takes self-care seriously is someone who Capricorn will benefit from knowing. Well, Capricorn readers, meet Devika Wickremesinghe who is offering pay what you can classes with PieterLates, a place where they “do the tiny exercises your PT told you to do every morning that you think are too boring but will help a lot, with humor and support. Strengthen, lengthen, tone, all that shit,” as well as $5 drop-in classes at Everybody Los Angeles.
Aquarius, I know you’d rather be sleeping, or stoned, or both. I know that sometimes being in your body is burdensome and highly off-brand for you. Still, even alien babes need to ground their spaceships once in a while, get out, and feel into their birthday suits. Why not check out Haus of Sweat? Imagined by a powerhouse Aquarius and “spirited by retro glam and powered by campy joy the Haus of Sweat generates community connection through the healing virtue of dance!” Offering a donation-based livestream called “STREAM THE SWEAT” twice a week through their website as well as one-off classes advertised on their Instagram, if Haus of Sweat doesn’t charm you into fly-girl fitness fantasy, you’ll still have a good time.
Pisces, dear Pisces. Have you got your crystals assembled around you in a crystal grid and your favorite music on, maybe Erykah Badu singing about her apple tree? Well, turn it down for a second and check this out. Laurel Atwell over on Instagram (where the zoom link remains in the bio and all offerings are donation-based) is inviting you to “be your spirit’s antenna” and do some Zoom Qi Gong with her over at @movementresearch and I think you might, like, totally be into it. Movement Research’s programming is free and so are you, to do what you want to do, and I bet you’ll really want to do this because according to Laurel, “your potency is becoming palpable.”