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Four Ways ‘The Class’ Challenges the Way Nurses Think About Exercising

Give yourself the gift of being mindful of your mental and physical health, and check out what ‘The Class’ has to offer today.

Nurses are used to putting other people’s needs first. By the time you get home from a shift or get a day off, you may only have the energy to sleep and dissociate from the chaos, alarms, and endless charting. 

Still, that doesn’t mean you aren’t concerned about putting your physical and mental health on the back burner and wondering how it could affect you. The Class, an all-encompassing somatic fitness method, approaches exercise in a holistic and accessible way. Challenging the barriers nurses might typically have to exercise, The Class encourages participants to come as they are and take a moment to do something for their mind and body each day. 

Soreuraya Wilson, the teacher training and development manager for The Class, discusses some of these misconceptions nurses may have about movement, wellness, and exercise and where The Class could fit into their routine.

1. Nurses Do Have Time for Exercise

Wilson encountered The Class in 2015, feeling moved by the practice and its founder, Taryn Toomey. Toomey, a former fashion executive, had a fast-paced lifestyle. When Wilson discovered that The Class had a unique focus on stillness and meditation incorporated with movement, she felt at home with the practice. 

Because The Class understands that everyone is busy, they have a wide variety of Class lengths, including:

  • Standard, 60-minute Classes.
  • Express, 45-minute Classes.
  • 10-minute, 15-minute, and 20-minute offerings.
  • Workouts that require no equipment or simply a mat.
  • Classes that don’t require you to sweat or even wear workout clothes.

Many nurses get upwards of 10,000 steps during a shift, so it’s not that they’re sedentary. However, Wilson explains, “Some of these [Classes] allow you to just get grounded, to release something, or to process something. It really gives a big benefit for a short amount of time. I think a lot of nurses would really benefit from that.”

2. You Don’t Need to Be Athletic to Move

There’s no shame if you can’t run as fast as when you were on the school soccer team, or if you’ve lost some flexibility since you took dance classes, or even if you never played sports at all. 

Offerings from The Class incorporate:

  • Somatic fitness, which Healthline defines as “performing movement for the sake of movement [to] focus on your inner experience as you move and expand your internal awareness.”
  • Cardiovascular endurance.
  • Muscular endurance.
  • Breathwork.
  • Yoga.
  • Meditation.

Even as a novice in any of these components of fitness, The Class still allows you to push yourself and gain benefits from moving your body to improve physical and mental strength. 

The practice is about challenging your body and mind to do something hard. “There will likely be a moment in The Class where you question if you want to keep going,” Wilson says. “And you’ll have to make the conscious decision to push through. That perseverance is how your mental health and physical muscles become stronger.”

3. Nurses Are Not Too Burned Out to Exercise

Sometimes, burnout makes even the most minor task feel too much. You aren’t alone if the thought of a single workout feels impossible. Wilson says sometimes it seems like “the demons in our heads, so to speak, get really loud and repetitive.”

In those moments, she says it’s important to feel still. Wilson suggests:

  • Acknowledging and confronting your burnout.
  • Incorporating burnout prevention before it happens or while it’s happening.
  • Not being afraid to show up for yourself more, even when it’s hard. 

“The stillness and softness allow us to question,” Wilson explains. “What can I hear? What is actually in this moment? [The Classes are] for no matter where you are, for when life feels really loud.”

4. Nurses Can Practice Movement With Intention

Exercising with the right mindset can completely change your experience. The Class has a few core values that are incorporated into their method.

  • Encouraging conscious consumption. The fitness world is rife with consumerism; you need to buy this workout outfit, this protein powder, and this equipment. And if you don’t have it all, you might as well not even try. “It’s consumerism, right?” Wilson agrees. On The Class’s website, they have a shop of carefully sourced products and strive to run their business as ethically as possible. They also encourage members to start with whatever they can. No special equipment or outfits are necessary. 
  • Exercise as a reward, not a punishment. “Sometimes there are [other] workouts I would do to punish myself, which is not the greatest intention behind exercise, but that’s how we’ve always looked at it.” In contrast, she shares, “That’s why I love The Class because it really is holistic.”
  • Focus on wellness, not physical appearance. “Everything in the fitness world can feel like ‘bikini, bikini, bikini,’ and that’s the opposite of what the intention should be. There might be mirrors in your exercise space, but many times the guidance in The Class is to close your eyes and just have a conversation with yourself”, Wilson says. The Class instructors don’t think of fitness as a means to burn off dessert, or as a way to “earn” food. 

Start Where You Are

No matter where you are in your health journey, Wilson doesn’t want you to forget this:

“Your body is a vessel to help you do the things that you need to. Eating, sleeping. It’s a beautiful vessel that gets you to and fro and holds you up.” As nurses, we often are so focused on healing the bodies of others that, at times, we forget to cherish our own. 

Give yourself the gift of being mindful of your mental and physical health, and check out this complimentary Class, created specifically for nurses. Also, The Class is offering a 14-day free trial to their Digital Studio, plus a 50% discount on a quarterly membership exclusively for the TNB community. Simply use code NURSES at checkout through this link.

This article is sponsored by The Class.

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