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Mind-Body Personal Training Comes Home

Mind-body exercise instructors who want to expand their personal training services should keep their eyes on a new emerging market. More and more people are creating meditation and yoga rooms in their homes. Heather McCune, editorial director of Professional Builder magazine, told USA Today, “What we’re seeing more and more is people building the spa services they want right into their own homes with spaces such as yoga rooms. . . . This is the room where they say, ‘I’m going to take care of me.’”

According to Kira McCarron, chief marketing officer for Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers, the largest builder of luxury homes, the company’s model homes now feature a room off the master bedroom that they suggest using for yoga, meditation or Pilates. “We sell homes to people who have busy, hectic lives. So this space is a kind of private refuge.”

In trendsetting Los Angeles, this type of space is so popular that asking clients whether they are interested in a dedicated yoga room has become a standard question for architects.

Residents are creating these spaces for a variety of reasons, including convenience, privacy and the opportunity to simply be in a room without any pressure to perform for others. Some homeowners practice with DVDs, others invite trainers, and some practice their own programs.

In Japan, it has long been a tradition to have a room or space in the home dedicated to meditation, and the custom is still alive today. Japanese family members who are trained in the art of “tea ceremony” might also use the space to practice this ancient form of moving meditation. In the midst of the turmoil of everyday life, finding time and space to cultivate tranquility and an appreciation for nature helps foster inner peace. In today’s hectic lifestyle, more and more Americans are looking to create peaceful havens at home. Mind-body exercise professionals with skills in teaching these practices can help lead the way.

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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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