2020 could well be known as the year that we rediscovered our relationship with wellness—physical and emotional. With the onset of an unforeseen lockdown, the extended timeout from everyday life afforded many the chance to reacquaint themselves with their inner selves. And making the journey easier were a slew of professionals, gurus and industry savants who turned their social media portals into an all-access trove for helpful resources and guided practices to make the transition into the new normal smoother. As we look at the arrival of another year with renewed hope, here are the noted names from the wellness industry you’ll want to hear from every day on your feed—if you aren’t already.
With over eight million subscribers on YouTube, Adriene Mishler was something of a household name with fitness enthusiasts and beginners, alike. However, the sudden onset of the pandemic-induced lockdown helped her at-home workouts touch another sphere of popularity with netizens—the 35-year-old yoga trainer added another million to her subscriber tally during the past few months alone. The meteoric rise in numbers was further helped along by the fact that the meditative element of yoga made her workouts a welcome reprieve for those isolating at home during the lockdown.
As a holistic lifestyle coach, it comes as a little surprise that Luke Coutinho’s positive ideology was in high demand during a year unlike any other. His main piece of advice to his followers during the health crisis? That hyped superfoods and fancy supplements aren’t the only tools required to keep the body in optimal shape. Through Instagram live sessions and online checklists, he has been guiding the virtualverse towards a healthier, well-rounded outlook on life during the lockdown. With the end of the year around the corner, his widely watched morning pep talks are now laying the groundwork for welcoming 2021 on a positive note through practising gratitude, journaling and related mindset shifts.
The New York-based health and wellness coach’s name is no stranger in fitness circles—as a yoga and Pilates trainer, she is credited with developing her eponymous workout method that has found a fan in celebrities and everyday enthusiasts, alike. As an unprecedented lockdown descended upon the year, she introduced a 14-day mindful movement challenge to help her online community find solace while adjusting to the new lifestyle of social distancing. A quick scroll through her Instagram feed, and you’ll find endless meditation exercises as well as at-home workouts that encourage people to include movement in their day, even when spending it indoors.
Dr Deepika Chopra
In a year when optimism may have seemed in short supply, Dr Deepika Chopra offered up the perfect solution with her weekly podcast, Things Are Looking Up, that offers listeners the chance to hear directly from trailblazers hailing from different walks of life while also learning practical skills for everyday life. Taking cues from her work as a happiness researcher and visual imagery expert, the self-described optimism doctor also launched a deck of 52 cards that offers guided prompts for holistic living.
With over 12 million followers to her credit, Kayla Itsines is today known for her eponymous workout app that revolutionised the world of digital workouts. Upon noticing that the absence of equipment, time and space were serving as barriers for women to exercise, the fitness mogul designed a zero-equipment program—a 16-week lineup designed for people of all fitness levels using minimal space. In an Instagram post, she reminisced, “Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my early days as a personal trainer and the way I used to train women in their backyards and at bootcamps. I remember when I first met these women they felt so defeated—they often weren’t able to get to the gym and didn’t have any equipment at home and felt like they would never be able to make progress. Once I started training them, it was amazing to see the changes in their attitude when they learnt they could get a high-intensity workout in from their homes or in a park without any equipment. This program is taking it back to where it all began for me.”
As the founder of Ziva Meditation, Emily Fletcher is helping to bring meditation to the masses. Fletcher responded to the global health crisis by uploading meditations to her Instagram account. Her method is based on reciting a multi-syllable nonsense word over and over to calm and focus the mind.
Staying home and staying fit needn’t be mutually exclusive, believes the celebrity-favourite trainer. Further proof of the same can be found in the steady stream of at-home fitness content she has been curating for her followers, often tapping into her celebrity clientele for engaging face-off videos alongside virtual Pilates parties and informative Q&A sessions for navigating life during the lockdown.
As the go-to name for functional medicine, it’s fair to say that Dr Mark Hyman’s expertise has never been more highly sought by the internet. As the world grappled with a once-in-a-century pandemic, Dr Hyman played a vital role in promoting the dispersal of accurate, factual information and helping his million-strong following on Instagram to prioritise their emotional health along with physical well-being.
When looking to stay in optimal shape, nutritionist and bestselling author, Rujuta Diwekar is the name that the industry’s top A-listers turn to. As the world adapted to the new normal, the celebrity dietician followed suit, turning her Instagram page into a treasure trove of resources and guided plans, including diet plans for the quarantine, weekly meal plans and step-by-step breakdowns for all age groups, ranging from kids to seniors.
At the helm of a media empire, Arianna Huffington has been rewiring social conversations in more ways than one—her foundation, Thrive Global, serves as a call to arms for the younger generation to curb burnout and work-induced stress. With the world making the switch to a work-from-home lifestyle overnight, the media mogul has been helping netizens navigate the new status quo without sacrificing their emotional well-being. In an Instagram post, she wrote, “Our opportunity, as we move into the next normal, is to take the lessons of the pandemic with us and remake our relationship with time—so that we are in control of our time, not the other way around. That doesn’t mean scaling back our ambitions, being less productive, or chilling under a mango tree—not at all. It means experiencing time differently so we don’t feel perpetually rushed, unnecessarily stressed and live our lives breathlessly.”
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