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Take a Different Kind of Journey

by Mary Monroe on May 01, 2006

Wellness experts have long acknowledged that true health goes beyond the physical, into the interconnected sensory realms of the emotional, mental and spiritual. That's where the 2006 Inner IDEA Conference is prepared to take you-if you choose to make this unique and transformational journey.

Take a full, deep breath. Imagine you’re beckoned to a serene Moroccan-inspired oasis in the middle of a vast desert. There you’re surrounded with forward-thinking leaders in health and fitness who’ve gathered with one goal in mind: to explore the many dimensions—in body, mind and spirit—of optimal wellness. In such a setting, what would you learn about yourself and about how to guide others on the path of wellness?

You can find out at Inner IDEA 2006, held on July 23–25—just before the IDEA World Fitness Convention®—at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, a tranquil lakeside citadel that has been reserved exclusively for the event, which is limited to 500 attendees.

The unique 21/2-day retreat is a milestone for the industry, developed to create a new community of leaders in body-mind-spirit health, and a new vision of wellness. The event has been planned, not as a typical program or conference, but as a mindful, sensory experience—one that will be quite unlike any previous event in the industry.

Latest Research, Top Programs, Leading Presenters

“This is an event for fitness, mind-body and wellness professionals who want to know what’s happening at the forefront of the body-mind-spirit wellness field,” says Marcia Hayes, programming director for the Inner IDEA Conference. “It’s for anyone who wants to talk to the leaders in the industry, find out the most current research and science developments and learn about the leading programs and trends. We’re offering a diversity of wellness programming that’s being brought together for the first time—from Pilates and yoga to Nia and tai chi, from life coaching and the business of wellness to mindful nutrition and weight management. Whether you’re a mind-body instructor, a personal trainer, a coach, a fitness instructor or a club manager, or you’re in a related wellness or healthcare field, this is an opportunity to learn information and practical tools that will help you be more successful with your clients.”

Inner IDEA participants will find instructional and hands-on tools and ideas for both fitness and wellness programming, along with more effective ways to interact with classes and clients and a wealth of ideas for successfully promoting positive change in themselves and in others.

A Very Different Experience

“You know how people at conferences are often running around like crazy, trying to do everything at once, taking notes, practicing moves, talking and grabbing a bagel all at the same time?” asks Hayes. “Well, this is going to be different. We’re incorporating techniques to help people slow down and be more fully present and attentive throughout every aspect of the experience.”

Mindfulness will be cultivated during meals that encourage conscious eating, with “mindfulness checks” during sessions, and through programs that offer techniques for living more fully in the moment. Maintaining a “beginner’s mind” of openness will be encouraged throughout the retreat. Music, color therapy, aromatherapy, space clearing, silence, centering exercises and visualizations and other exercises will also be used to engage the senses and promote mindfulness and creativity.

One of the most unique aspects of the event is the presentation of “Evening Cinema: New Views of the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection.” This film session will feature a current groundbreaking movie that explores the dynamic relationship between the body, mind and spirit.

“Inner IDEA encourages each participant to take a personal wellness journey,” says Hayes. “It’s a journey inward, to find a new kind of enrichment or inner peace, to connect to the body, mind and spirit in a new way. This is an experience for people who are willing to explore themselves and are open to new ideas—and who want to find out how to bring new ideas to the people they want to help.”

Barbara Harris, MA, who is presenting a session on the concept of pilgrimage, notes that the role of a fitness or wellness professional is often to guide clients on their own journey, or pilgrimage. “Pilgrimage is the spiritual counterpart to a physical journey, taken for the purpose of transformation,” says Harris, executive vice president and editorial director of Weider Publications’Active Lifestyle Group. “This has been a tradition across cultures, both secular and religious. It’s not about conquest but about contemplation and traveling with reverence. We are all pilgrims on a spiritual journey. At Inner IDEA, we’ll be taking a journey of body, mind and spirit—and learning to help others make their own journeys.”

The conference will also emphasize the experience of community. Networking lunches during the event will allow participants to meet with other leaders grouped into specified areas of interest (yoga, Pilates, coaching, etc.) and exchange insights on how these areas can best be explored through Inner IDEA in the future. “We’re using techniques to promote more interconnectedness among participants and more effective networking,” says Hayes. “We’re taking a fresh approach to a lot of things, but we don’t want to give away all the surprises we’ve planned!”

The ultimate goal of Inner IDEA is positive transformation, both personally and professionally. “It’s about having an awakening—like having a light turned on that changes how you relate to yourself, other people and the world,” says Hayes. “The opportunity to explore new dimensions of ourselves doesn’t just enrich us, it makes us more effective as guides for others on the journey of wellness.”

Thoughts on Inner IDEA®

“We have been working on Inner IDEA for many years, inspired by our personal interest in mind- body-spirit approaches and by our passionate belief that a holistic approach to health is the key to optimal wellness. Inner IDEA is a unique program that will introduce an exciting new era in our industry.”

— Peter Davis, IDEA CEO

and co-founder

“Inner IDEA is a forum for us to cross the threshold into a rich new paradigm of wellness—to explore what cannot be seen but is most central to reaching the deepest parts of who we are and of the consumers we connect with.”

—Barbara Harris, MA, executive vice president and editorial

director, Weider Publications

Active Lifestyle Group

“Inner IDEA is an opportunity to consider what our clients are doing with their minds, rather than just what they are doing with their bodies, in order to get to the core of what mind-body exercise is. Different movements generate different feelings. Adding new physical activities, adding muscles and increasing flexibility do not just change our physical functioning—they transform how we experience ourselves and the world around us.

—James Gavin, PhD, professor of

applied human sciences at

Concordia University, Montreal

“We’ve been evolving to this point, and we now know that a mindless approach to fitness fails to address the whole person. With Inner IDEA, we’re ready to explore the inner experience of movement and recognize the impact of movement on the whole individual. We can access the tools, techniques and knowledge that will make living long and living well go hand in hand—so we can embrace life with fervor, and help our clients do the same.”

—Ronda Gates, MS, president of LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates

Inner IDEA Conference Details

Date: July 23–25, 2006, before the IDEA World Fitness Convention®.

Location: Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa

To Register: Via website:; via phone: 800-462-1876 (outside the U.S. and Canada, dial 858-535-8979, ext. 7).

Attendance Is Limited—Sign Up Now

Participation at Inner IDEA is limited to 500 attendees, in order to preserve an intimate environment for this special event. Registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis, and you can register by website, phone, fax or mail. The advanced registration deadline is May 19, 2006.

Visions of the Future

At two general sessions during the Inner IDEA® event, eight dynamic leaders from a variety of wellness fields will present their inspiring “Visions of the Future”:

  • Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, will present recent research and insights on “Mind and Body Linked at Last: The Science of Wellness,” highlighting the relationship between wellness and weight management, research into wellness and gender differences, and how fitness professionals can integrate the information into their programs.
  • Barbara Harris, MA, editorial director for SHAPE, Natural Health and Fit Pregnancy, will explore the various ways that spirit fits into the health and wellness equation, and discuss the role and traditions of pilgrimage in personal growth and wellness.
  • Debbie Rosas, co-creator and founder of the Nia technique, will present “Transformational Practices for Inspiring the Sacred Athlete Within: The Future of Fitness,” including a look at somatic art and tools for communicating integrative fitness.
  • Shirley Archer, JD, MA, will discuss future trends in yoga and Pilates, and how to best position these programs for continued growth and success.
  • Jeff Bensky, PhD, MA, will discuss the next frontier for the health and wellness services: the experience economy.
  • Peter Reding, MBA, MCLC, MCC, will present a vision for the future of coaching, including accreditation and certification, trends, behavior change strategies and business success tactics.
  • Ronda Gates, MS, will look at how emerging nutrition research will reveal the effects that specific foods, vitamins and other supplements have on our health at all ages, and how nutrients can impact cell metabolism and prevent the diseases of aging (or aging itself).
  • Lorna Francis, PhD, CLC, will discuss what it means to mindfully live in the present moment, and how to use mindful approaches in working with clients.

    To create a tranquil setting for the Inner IDEA® Conference experience, the entire Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa has been reserved for the event. Set on 25 serene lakeside acres, 15 minutes removed from busy Las Vegas, the Moroccan-inspired retreat offers majestic views of the nearby mountains and the vast surrounding desert.

    Inner IDEA activities will take place both in the richly designed interior of the luxury four-star resort, and outside on the breathtaking grounds displaying beautiful gardens, cooling azure pools and the palm-lined white sands of Riyada Beach. For soothing relaxation or invigorating rejuvenation, the resort’s Spa Moulay features signature massage and body and facial treatments with fresh spices and essential oils, inspired by the ancient traditions of Morocco.

    A Peaceful Place, Far From the Ordinary
    The Culture of Inner IDEA

    At Inner IDEA®, you’ll experience the 10 levels that define the distinct culture of the conference:

    Connection—Inner IDEA promotes a stronger, more effective sense of relationship to each other, to those we teach and to the world around us.

    Community—Inner IDEA is the formation of a new community of health and fitness professionals, joined together to inspire greater levels of wellness.

    Balance—Inner IDEA cultivates the development of balance as a necessary principle for a lifestyle of sustainable wellness.

    Sanctuary—Inner IDEA creates a safe, supportive environment to nurture the development of new thoughts, ideas and practices.

    Presence—Inner IDEA thrives on the culture of presence, mindfulness and conscious living: being engaged in the experience of the present moment.

    Practice—Inner IDEA encourages committed practice as the essence of learning, teaching and benefiting from wellness programs.

    Integration—Rather than one path, Inner IDEA presents many pathways to health, encouraging integration of those that work best for each individual.

    Spirit—Spirit, or a higher level of consciousness, gives meaning to life and connects us to a deeper purpose. Inner IDEA begins with the power of spirit to create change.

    Intention—Inner IDEA is founded on the power of intention, both individually and as a community, to effect change in us and in the world.

    Transformation—The ultimate goal of Inner IDEA is transformation of body, mind and spirit.

    From Gyrotonic® Exercise to Tribal Dance: Inner IDEA® Is Eclectic

    Inner IDEA will feature one of the most diverse, eclectic and integrative programs ever presented for mind-body, fitness and wellness professionals. Watch for these highlights:

    • programs that integrate body, mind and spirit, including Nia, qigong, tai chi, moonlight meditation, walking meditation, relaxation techniques, tribal dance, awakening the senses, sound enhancement therapy, color therapy, Thai massage, creating a healing class environment and journal writing
    • new and recent research on various facets of the mind-body connection, including the areas of gender-specific health and wellness, the relationship of body-mind-spirit methods to health and disease, Pilates benefits, breath and well-being, the relationship between nutrition and wellness, the relationship between body image and weight management, and “emotional anatomy,” or how bodies reveal personality based on movement experience
    • over 30 Pilates mat and equipment sessions, including classes on cuing and corrections, advanced technique, breath integration, mindfulness training, postrehabilitation, techniques for mature clients and the business of Pilates
    • a wide range of in-depth yoga programs, including classes on the yogic warrior, chakra yoga, anusara yoga, ashtanga yoga, raja yoga, restorative yoga, yoga nidra, yoga and women’s health, yoga alignment and the asanas, the connection between yoga breath and balance and yoga, neuropsychology and the brain state; also, sunrise and moonlight yoga
    • ongoing Gyrotonic exercise demonstrations and programs
    • business, marketing and management training for wellness programs and facilities, including the business of body-mind fitness, empowering staff and clients, transforming the wellness brand, and how to follow your bliss and not go broke
    • techniques, tips and trends on life coaching, including inspired learning techniques, Ideokinesis® or “mind over matter mental imagery,” bridging the gap from instructor to coach, and inspiring and empowering your clients with new training tools
    • a wide variety of wellness and nutrition sessions, including stress management, nutritional immunity, the dangers of herb and supplement roulette, mindful “eating from the heart,” and the relationship between unexpressed emotion and weight issues
    • body-mind-spirit water programming, including PoolatesTM, Watsu, Flow Chi, Water Fusion and Stirring Currents

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 3, Issue 5

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© 2006 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Mary Monroe IDEA Author/Presenter

Mary Monroe is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area.