Creative Ideas That Inspire

by Lisa Quigley on Jan 20, 2016


Spice things up with classes that nourish body and soul.

Afreaka Aerials, offered at the Oxsrad Sports Centre in Oxford, England, is a circus-inspired aerial fitness class. One of the benefits of aerial exercise is that it introduces participants to the instability of suspension, which requires more controlled muscle activation. Working about 26 feet off the floor with silk aerial fabrics, participants can imagine that the sky really is the limit in this highly intense physical activity.

While not exclusive to men, Yo-Bro YOGA at RIO Pilates & Yoga Studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a high-energy class that allows practitioners to explore their physical limits. Catering to the masculine energies of both men and women, the program offers techniques for strength building and endurance—as well as opportunities for arm balances and inversions. Participants are rewarded for their efforts with craft beer at the end of class.

On the flip side, women seeking to express their femininity can do so in Buti Yoga at Bethel Fitness and Wellness Center in Bethel, Connecticut. In a “female empowerment” class that fuses yoga, tribal dance and plyometrics, participants experience a workout for both body and spirit. In this safe space, women unleash their inner goddesses and explore their own strength.

Pool Barre, created in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Pam Bennett at Wellbridge Athletic Club, takes the concepts of a barre class into the water. Incorporating the resistance of water adds an extra element of challenge to this already versatile exercise method. “My participants inspire me every day to keep classes on the cutting edge,” says Bennett. “I always want to keep them wanting more and different [exercises].” This fusion of water and land styles gets clients to stay on their toes—and to dip in the water.

At the Eden Community Center in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, there’s a fun session for kids called Art, Athletics and Academics (AAA). Running from 7:30 am to noon on Saturday mornings, the program caters to children aged 6 months to 7 years. During this time there are art projects, fitness classes—such as Zumba® Kids and Kids’ Yoga—and opportunities for academic tutoring.

Kelly Ross, a fitness instructor and licensed therapist, seeks to address both physical and mental health with Sunshine Chats. Offered at Romeo-Washington-Bruce Parks and Recreation in Romeo, Michigan, this class provides an hour-long high-intensity interval workout followed by a 60-minute group therapy session in which participants can share their experiences and challenges surrounding topics like body image and nutrition. According to the website, the idea is to “walk out of each hour-long chat session feeling mentally stronger, emotionally capable and relieved of physical angst.”

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About the Author

Lisa Quigley

Lisa Quigley IDEA Author/Presenter

Lisa Quigley is the Publications Assistant at IDEA Health & Fitness Association. She considers herself first and foremost a writer. Her love of words and stories inspired her to pursue a degree in English and continue on to receive an MFA in Creative Writing. During her academic pursuits, Lisa also discovered yoga. Her personal practice was so powerfully transforming that she decided to become a yoga teacher. In 2012, she was certified at the 200 hour level. She spent the next three years teaching at multiple yoga studios throughout San Diego County. As a yoga teacher, she seeks to encourage people to love and accept themselves as they are—while at the same time welcoming opportunities for growth—so they can feel more at home in their bodies and lead more fulfilling lives. The position at IDEA Health & Fitness Association allows Lisa to combine all of her interests in one place. She is thrilled to be part of a company who's mission aligns so closely with her own vision and values. Lisa is fueled by her relentless curiosity and hunger for adventure. Her interests include writing, reading, running, hiking, yoga, camping, and exploring. She's on a never ending quest to get the most out of every moment and laugh whenever possible.