Dynamic Drive

by Joy Keller on Jan 01, 2005

Break out of the "Group" box with ideas from other instructors.

TaikoFit™, invented by group fitness instructor and personal fitness trainer Michelle Unrau, PhD, from Port Moody, British Columbia, combines Japanese-inspired taiko drumming with traditional floor aerobics. Participants get a workout while using big sticks called “bachii” to pound on a drum (taiko is the Japanese word for “big drum”). “TaikoFit has all the elements of a traditional fitness class: It gets the heart pumping and the muscles working, with the additional excitement of releasing stress and having fun,” Unrau says.

Yoga on the Gravity Training System utilizes body weight and various joint angle positions on a pulley system and free-motion glide board. “The class challenges flexibility, stability, total body strength and coordination in a full array of asanas and vinyasas,” says Sara Kooperman, chief executive officer of SCW Fitness Education Association in Evanston, Illinois.

The 92nd Street Y in New York offers Flomotion, a gentle exercise class created for people with cancer and other serious illnesses. Mirabai Holland, director of fitness and wellness, developed the class to help people with cancer manage the exhaustion, emotion and decreased physical ability associated with chemo-therapy and other treatments. The movements are slow and fluid. Classes begin with light aerobics and end with a meditation. Holland also incorporates strength training and flexibility exercises for people experiencing muscular atrophy and diminished range of motion due to surgery.

IDEA presenter and industry veteran June Kahn has created Cardio Pilates for people interested in “the best of both worlds.” This class combines the principles of Pilates mat work with standing cardiovascular rhythmic patterns. Participants use the large muscles of the body to increase their heart rates, while the Pilates-inspired movements improve core strength.

Rhythmic Yoga™ is taught by Bonnie Diaz in New York City. Diaz incorporates dance, Pilates and yoga in a 60-minute workout consisting of a 5-minute warm-up, 15 minutes of muscular strength and endurance, 10 minutes of core exercises, a 20-minute balance and flexibility section, a 5-minute cooldown and 5 minutes of meditation.

Have you heard of a creative new class? Drop us an e-mail and share the buzz: kellerj@ideafit.com.

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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.