Healthy Living: Rise Yoga moves classes online

Local fitness studios joined a lot of other businesses in transitioning to online offerings to ensure members of the community can stick to their health goals without putting themselves and others at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

I spoke to Kelsey Sperl, owner of Rise Yoga in Wallingford, to learn more about taking yoga classes online.

Sperl has been teaching yoga for 7 years. She opened Rise Yoga in 2017 with the objective of encouraging Wallingford residents to slow down and reconnect with themselves. 

Classes offered 

Sperl said there is a $25 fee for one month of unlimited classes. Virtual class times range from 30-60 minutes. 

Rise Yoga offers vinyasa, gentle and yin yoga classes. Vinyasa flow yoga focuses on smooth transitions from one yoga pose to the next. Gentle yoga is characterized by its therapeutic nature and is known to be more slow-paced than other styles. Yin Yoga involves holding postures for a longer period of time while maintaining awareness in the present moment.


Since Rise classes are being offered through the website Vimeo, an internet connection is required to participate.

“Some things that would be nice to have: a yoga mat, a blanket, some books, to replace yoga blocks,” Sperl said. 

She added, though, equipment is not necessary. 

Make sure you set up in a place that gives you plenty of space to move around.


In all forms of yoga, different variations of poses appeal to different skill levels. Sperl said Rise’s flow class instructors always offer modifications.

Pose alterations can be made for participants of all levels to ensure experienced participants are being challenged to progress further.

This same concept applies to novice yogis who can expect to feel comfortable while learning the basics.

“You can practice on your own time, in the comfort of your own home,” said Sperl of the major draw of virtual classes.


“Rise Yoga aims to create a tranquil, peaceful space for the Wallingford community. A space where upon opening the door one feels as though they just took a big, deep breath,” Sperl said.

She added that this same intention applies to their virtual classes.

Joining online fitness classes is an ideal way to manage feelings of isolation when practicing social distancing.

Virtual fitness classes enable participants to maintain connections with their wellness communities while also being in compliance with the state and federal government’s guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Advice to beginners

“Gentle classes are great for beginners,” Sperl said.

This style of yoga allows participants to ease into yoga poses, without feeling pressure to rapidly progress through a series of different postures.

“We could all benefit from yoga now more than ever…Yoga helps to calm the mind and ease our fears by practicing staying present through breath work,” said Sperl.

For more information about Rise Yoga in Wallingford and their virtual offerings, visit:

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris–


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