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A Different Angle

by Joy Keller on May 01, 2005

Hijack boredom with the newness element.

Ai Chi is a water exercise and relaxation program that combines tai chi elements with shiatsu and chi kung. Participants stand in warm, shoulder-level water and perform combinations of deep breathing and slow, broad movements with the arms and legs. Donna Wright teaches ai chi three times a week at the YWCA of Central Massachusetts in Worcester. “Classes are composed of people ranging in age from their mid-30s to 70s, both male and female,” she says. “Many have health challenges such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. Others just enjoy the break ai chi gives them. It’s a popular class for those who value mind-body work. Each person seems to benefit according to his or her particular needs (physical, mental and emotional).”

Bolingbrook Park District Lifestyles Fitness Center and Spa in Bolingbrook, Illinois, features Bosycle on its schedule. This class combines indoor cycling with exercises on the BOSU® Balance Trainer and is geared for the participant who wants a good workout but doesn’t want to learn new choreography.

The Fitness Factory Inc., based in Southfield, Michigan, helps its members learn something new while getting a great workout with Bhangra Aerobics. This class combines “beautiful and upbeat steps” from Bhangra, a Punjab, India, folk dance, with regular elements of a cardiovascular-based group fitness class.

Members of the Ashland Family YMCA in Ashland, Oregon, get ready for the water in OarRowBics. Local sculling experts help teach this indoor rowing class, which highlights safe boating techniques while participants work up a sweat.

Variations on Dahnhak® are finding homes among mind-body offerings on class schedules. This Korean-based practice teaches five steps that help participants use breath to control the mind and bring chi into the body: initiating, accumulating, controlling, commanding and completing.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.