A Balancing Act

Buzz: Draw inspiration from classes that offer both "soft" and "hard" options for training.

Yoga 360, created by IDEA member Desiree Bartlett, MS, uses a special circular yoga mat (called the 360 Degree Mat) that "optimizes feminine energy." The 75-minute multidimensional movement class is "full of arcs, ellipses and spirals." "Fluid sequencing allows for greater freedom in movement and is inspired by yoga and dance, while the shape of the mat encourages graceful transitions from one asana to another," says Bartlett. Each class includes five unique segments: a warm-up that "lights the body from the inside out;" an "awakening" of the back of the body; a warrior dance; creative movement; and a guided visualization.

Silver Age Yoga is a nonprofit yoga teaching organization based in San Diego that brings yoga to 300–400 economically disadvantaged seniors each week. In addition to training yoga teachers on how to modify hatha yoga for older adults, Silver Age is organizing a partnership with geriatric scientists to conduct a 3-year research project on the effects of yoga on senior osteoporosis and flexibility.

Integrated body-mind programming is enjoying success at a specialized weight loss center for women. Green Mountain at Fox Run in Ludlow, Vermont, offers a women’s weight loss retreat with an interdisciplinary curriculum of nutritional education, exercise, body image lectures, stress management lessons and guided imagery.

At Active Fitness in Medford, New Jersey, members try out Step Boxing. Group fitness coordinator Kelly Coffey-Meyer developed the class, which combines powerful kickboxing moves with athletic step aerobics.

IDEA member Mary Ellen Coffey teaches Kickboxing Bootcamp at Power & Physique Systems in Tucson, Arizona. The class is based on tae kwon do and boxing moves and uses a freestanding heavy bag. "I monitor the class by coaching and teaching proper form and technique for all moves," Coffey says. "The class is interval-based with two formats that I alternate weekly. I’ll sometimes throw in self-defense and tae kwon do floor moves. I track heart rates, and everyone works within 80%–90% of their age-predicted maximum heart rate. It’s a fun, empowering class that I teach at noon, so everyone goes back to work feeling great!"

8th Element Yoga in Seattle offers a unique fusion of hatha yoga and dance with Shake, Rattle & Pose. According to the studio’s website, the class incorporates moves from martial arts, belly dance, African dance and modern dance, which are then woven into yoga poses.

Special thanks to Shirley Archer, JD, MA, for reporting on Silver Age Yoga and the body-mind programming offered by Green Mountain at Fox Run.

Star Students
Do you have a regular participant who makes it easy for you to want to roll out of bed at 5:00 am to teach boot camp? Is there someone in one of your classes you think deserves special mention? A gold star? E-mail, write or fax us, detailing why your student is exceptional (see contact details). We’ll be highlighting stars in future issues.

Sharing the Buzz
Have you heard of a creative new class? Drop us a line and share the buzz. Send an e-mail, a letter or a fax detailing the class. We’ll be publishing your ideas in upcoming issues.

E-Mail: kellerj@ideafit.com
Mail: 10455 Pacific Center Ct.
San Diego, CA 92121-4339
Fax: (858) 535-8234

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Joy Keller

IDEA Author/Presenter
Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and is also a certified personal t... more less
February 2008

© 2008 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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