Bedroom Yoga or Trivia anyone?
Imagine playing Trivia or doing Yoga with hundreds of people without leaving your bedroom. As the Coronavirus spreads around the world, and people are forced to stay in their houses, online events keep popping up to entertain the millions that are stuck in isolation. Events are being live-streamed through peoples devices all over the world as the hosts are also forced into isolation but want to continue to entertain and connect with their audience. Several events are offered for free, for a donation of your choosing, or are even being used to raise money for healthcare workers around the world. In order to be suitably entertained this week, why not attend a trivia session through Isolation Trivia’s Facebook page, or do Yoga with a view of Sydney’s attractions through Sorry Thanks I Love You’s Instagram.
This event seems to be everywhere on Facebook, and for good reason! Isolation Trivia is created and hosted by Brisbane local Aimon Clark of The Creases, and the event attracts hundreds of people from around the world, each time it is on. When the bars in Brisbane closed for Coronavirus, Clark moved his trivia nights online and has built a following of over 12,000 on the Isolation Trivia Facebook page. The themes of the trivia nights have ranged from general knowledge to current and relevant themes like the Tiger King documentary or Star Wars. As soon as you click on the Isolation Trivia Facebook page, you find witty jokes and clever graphics, enticing you in to join a session, and after reading just a few comments of other people praising Aimon for hosting the trivia nights, I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about.
Fitness events have also been appearing everywhere online as of late, perhaps its a sign that we need to be moving more! The fitness industry continues to bring people together, creating communities and providing a huge number of physical and mental health benefits which, at a time like this, it’s so important to keep moving, maintain communication and continue with some structure in our days. As gyms, studios and group fitness centres have been temporarily closed, online fitness events and activities have been made abundantly available online, being run through Instagram and Facebook live, zoom sessions and likely a number of other live video chat platforms.
One Sydney business, Sorry Thanks I Love You (STILY), has been hosting free yoga for a number of years in their stores, prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the ban on public gatherings enforced, the handmade goods and clothing store, which also serves as a cafe and a florist, shut its doors and transitioned completely online. This transition includes offering the free Monday night yoga sessions, and rather than watching your instructor as they guide you through the session from the store, they will take you around Sydney to different spots each week. The sessions run for an hour and are aimed at beginners, but more advanced poses will be provided as an option throughout the session.
For STILY, the weekly free face to face yoga session was aimed at bringing people together and managing their mental health through the practice of yoga. This purpose has now become more important as people are isolated, likely moving less as they are limited to where they can go, and they could be turning to food and alcohol to cope mentally. Hundreds of people have already tuned in to previous sessions, through STILY’s Instagram, and now with the events being held at a secret, surprise and sometimes inaccessible location around Sydney, they will only increase in popularity. Since going online, the sessions have been able to reach many more people than what they could in their usual class size, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they continued to host them online as well as face to face once the restrictions are lifted.
Prior to isolation, Yoga and Trivia were both new to me, so choosing these events was based on their availability as well as the ideas behind them. Human interaction and mental stimulation are the issues that Aimon addresses through moving from pub trivia nights to online, and if testing your knowledge against others isn’t enough, you’ll be sufficiently entertained by Aimon and the other participants. Mental health and exercise are the issues that STILY set out to address through their yoga sessions, and they recognised the increased importance of these during isolation, which attracted me to their movement.
These events are some of the many that have popped up online since people were forced into isolation, and I am hopeful that they will maintain their online presence once things start going back to normality. I also intend on visiting the STILY store when we’re allowed to travel again and would love to attend a live pub trivia session with Aimon in Brisbane, so their choices to adapt to the current environment and move to an online medium have definitely paid off.