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The Parlour Project: Keeping you mentally & physically healthy while at home

April 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ALYSSA PARKHIll

Local Caledon resident, Lee-Anne Simpson, has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 30 years. 

Simpson has been working on an idea that would see her better connect with the local community, with a view to getting people more active. But then the need for the Parlour Project changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and she came up with a solution to give back by offering online classes on Zoom, a popular social interactive video platform. All classes are free and volunteer run, no registration needed what-so-ever, all you need to do is download Zoom and search for The Parlour Project.

The Parlour Project offers an ever-growing list of programs from fitness, lifestyle, personal well-being and care and is inclusive of everyone including seniors. Simpson is also working on launching a children’s program. They are also working on offering offline content for those who are not comfortable with Zoom but are also hoping for connection.

“A lot of people tuning in are used to the routine of going into the gym for their regular classes with that added benefit of the energy of others. This is why we are offering live classes with professional leaders instead of simply posting videos,” she said. “It’s the interacting piece that makes this very unique.”

She goes on to explain the personal and connective atmosphere during the online classes, which bring together family, friends and strangers who are quickly becoming connected as teachers open and close the classes with personal greetings and messages. 

This all really started when the COVID-19 pandemic began last month. According to their website, “in the current environment of quarantine and working from home, many are feeling isolated and disconnected from their community, their friends and co-workers.”

The main focus for these classes, along with the physical and mental wellness, is the connection for residents. In Simpson’s words, “a connective piece. All of this is trying to connect to the natural need for support right now,” she says.

Each class provided comes from different areas of learning from certified professionals who all volunteer for the Parlour Project. Eighteen volunteers vary from self-help coaching, yoga, kickboxing, total body circuits, meditation, strength training and athletic development, Zumba, just to name a few. But, it’s not all about physical health.

“I went into my gut and thought about what I believe we are feeling disconnected from. Our newest volunteer is a hair specialist coming on to talk about how to manage roots! We have an organizational specialist because I thought about people being at home who might want to take the time and the opportunity to get organized and feel more productive and combat that feeling of being stuck and just not sure where to start,” said Simpson.

The program has reached local audiences, but viewers are joining in from as far away as Florida, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Germany, Mexico and many other places. Within the first two and a half weeks of The Parlour Project beginning, there have been over 1,000 participants with 32 different classes each week on the schedule.

So, what happens to the program when the pandemic slows down, or even ends? Simpson hopes to keep it growing and return to its original design of extending into our communities for interfacing, as well as the online platform even after the pandemic.

“Frankly, I’ll be honest, I am not sure that people will have memberships in their budget for the first little while. As a group our volunteers are aware that if they believe that this is ending with the quarantine, it likely is not. We’ll still be here for you,” she said. “Maybe not with this extensive schedule, but I don’t really know that part yet. They’ll see the program change a little bit, but our intention is to keep on going and even growing it a little bit more as people need us.”

For more information and to check out the schedule for something that interests you please visit www.parlourproject.com or email learnmore@parlourproject.com.



         

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