Diversify your class schedule by offering a mix of modalities.
IDEA member Ruby Sneed teaches Restorative Rest™ at Tri-State Athletic Club in Evansville, Indiana. The 40-minute class is held in a candlelit room, and aromatherapy is an integral part of the session. Participants lie on mats, use eye pillows and cover themselves with yoga blankets. They focus on an object related to touch (e.g., a stone, shell or feather) or taste (e.g., dark chocolate, a lemon drop or peppermint). Sneed teaches deep, conscious breathing and uses imagery while serene music and nature sounds play in the background. “This helps reduce the stress from their analytical minds,” she says. “We explore our inner serenity and emerge feeling restored and rested. I’ve taught for 12 years and have always loved the intensity of a great workout. However, I’ve recently discovered the strength that comes from being still. In these days of physical, emotional and mental challenges, participants love the balance this class creates in their lives.”
The Magdalena Ecke YMCA in Encinitas, California, is reaching out to new mothers with Baby Dance. This class allows participants to try a fun dance-inspired workout while holding their babies in slings or front carriers. Baby Dance incorporates traditional aerobics with world, swing and line dance. The workout includes simple, modified moves, with optional pivots and grapevines. “We also focus on keeping our backs straight and using good posture throughout the class,” says IDEA member Whitney DeSpain, who teaches Baby Dance. “The babies range from 6 weeks to 18 months, and quite often many of them fall asleep by the end of class.”
Poolates™ merges Pilates principles with water exercise. According to an article in the February 8, 2005, online edition of The Miami Herald, Poolates uses “the water’s natural resistance and small equipment such as balance boards, surgical tubing, pull-buoys and water noodles . . . to target the arms, legs and mid-sections.” Creator Rebecca Pfeiffer, JD, MPH, a former health policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also offers Poolates personal training sessions.
The Mission Valley YMCA in San Diego offers Yoga 4 Surfers. The class features poses that focus on the abdominals and back muscles. “Practicing yoga will . . . strengthen and stretch all your surfing muscles and improve your endurance, balance and mental focus,” reads the promotional flyer for the class.