Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to adjust their operations to the new normal. Among the thousands of businesses affected by the pandemic are yoga, martial arts and gymnastics studios in Bowling Green.
Many studios are temporarily closed due to health concerns, such as Sentou Dojo, a martial arts school that opened in 2006. Head instructor Frank Williams said the dojo has been closed since March 5.
“You have to physically make contact to be able to do the movements, and we actually lease space from the county so that facility is closed to any type of indoor sports until sometime in August,” Williams said.
Other martial arts studios in Bowling Green like Jeramy Black’s Taekwondo Academy are open and operating under new guidelines.
Instead of the normal 30-student-classes held in the evening, Master Instructor Jeramy Black said class sizes have been reduced to 10-student classes held throughout the day.
According to Black, the school is cleaning between classes.
Black said parents observing class are required to wear makes and that there are temperature checks for everyone entering the building. Students are not required to wear masks on the mat but are allowed to if they choose.
Black said there have been no issues with breathing, and there is no contact between students.
Be Happy Yoga and Salt Cave has also reduced its class sizes. According to owner Sharon Polk, the previous class capacity of 19 people per class was reduced to six. The capacity for the salt cave was also reduced from 11 to seven.
Polk said Be Happy has also staggered its schedule to limit the number of people in the lobby.
“Naturally we’re following all CDC guidelines for sanitizing procedures, and continually cleaning up throughout the day,” Polk said. “We were already a very clean studio but we upped our game even more.”
According to Polk, temperature and contact information are taken upon entry, and customers in their retail area have been asked not to handle products.
Polk said there are five elements to Be Happy Yoga and Salt Cave that were affected, including its yoga teacher training program, a 200-hour program that begins in September. Also impacted were the yoga room, salt cave, retail area and massage treatments. Excluding the retail center, Polk said that all services require appointments.
Virtual yoga classes are also being offered, according to Polk, and can be signed up for via Be Happy Yoga and Salt Cave’s website.
“We have learned that we like that in addition to our live classes because I’ve got some friends and family who live in different states so they’re really excited that they can do our classes,” Polk said.
Patrons are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats and blocks for in-person classes, though Polk said that equipment is available and is washed and sanitized between uses.
“We are still using props I’m really strong on, so I still want people to use those things as they need to,” Polk said. “But they are all definitely being washed after every use.”
Cheerville’s Bowling Green location reopened in May and opened in phases. Gym manager O’Shea Parker said temperatures are checked upon entry, water fountains are closed and class sizes have been reduced to 10 students to one instructor.
Parker said the facility is cleaned nightly, with a cleaning crew coming in on Fridays and Sundays for additional cleaning.
Parker said that prior to closing, the gym’s team competition was cut short.
“We actually missed out on two regular competitions, so when they did get to get back into the gym, they were really excited,” Parker said.