Prior to social distancing measures, Monique Navarro was feeling good about her fitness routine. She was doing Pilates reformer three to four times a week and seeing the feeling the difference. 


When New Yorkers were required to shelter in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, Monique’s fitness routine, like so many others’, was flipped upside down. Suddenly the outlet for her mental and physical health was no longer available—that is until she received an email from Kristen, her Pilates instructor at Asphalt Green.  


The email asked whether she would be interested in doing sessions virtually. The idea of continuing to do Pilates, see other people, and help the community excited her. And Monique knew herself—without the workout on the schedule, she likely would not exercise at all. Monique’s answer was easy. She signed up with her 16-year-old daughter for private Pilates sessions with Kristen.  


“The day of our first session, we were looking forward to it,” Monique says. “We didn’t know exactly what to expect. We were happy to see Kristen with her smile. We figured out our space, set up our mats, and got started.” 


Seeing Kristen brightened up both Monique and her daughter’s day, and she felt like she worked hard at the end of the first session. She now does two virtual sessions per week.  


Because Monique is used to doing Pilates on the reformer, Kristen is able to link each exercise back to what they have been working on in the studio. She gives them form adjustments, cues for specific movements to focus on for each exercise, and ensures they have proper posture.  


Kristen will ask, "This is the muscle you need to feeling, are you feeling it?” If the answer, is no, Kristen stops and explains the exercise in a different way. It’s real feedback.  


“You see what she’s doing, and she makes us do the exercise correctly, which gives us a better workout,” Monique says.  


After the workout, both she and her daughter are sore—in a good way.  


“It’s hard,” Monique says. “We feel like we’ve done something good for our bodies and minds. It’s relaxing, but at the same time she makes us work.”  


The sessions are helping Monique and her daughter mentally and physically during this time. 


“In this environment when you can’t meet people in person, it’s key to have somebody interact with you,” Monique says. “Our private sessions are one of the highlights of our day. Seeing Kristen makes us smile.” 


The experience has also been a great way to bond with her daughter. One of her motivations is to show her kids how important it is to stay active.   


“In the same way that you read in front of your kids, you should also be exercising in front of them,” Monique says. “My kids are an inspiration. I’m so glad that my daughter likes Pilates and that we are able to do it together.” 


More than anything, the mental benefits of the virtual training program have helped during this uncertain time. 


“For your mental health, I don’t think there’s anything better,” Monique says. “It boosts your mood, you’re talking to other people, you’re moving. Because you’re paying, you have that extra motivation. If you don’t have that commitment, you might not show up, and in this time, you need to show up. You need to have somebody that is waiting for you on the other side of the video to help you help yourself.” 


Asphalt Green is offering virutal personal training. Learn more.