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Mind-Body Millennium

The quiet power and grace of mind-body disciplines have gained mainstream muscle. For many years IDEA has tracked the building momentum of practices such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, chi kung, Nia, Feldenkrais® and the Alexander Technique, to name a few. Through our publications and convention programming, our authors and presenters have done their best to keep you on the crest of this wave so you could ride it successfully.

It’s exciting to see that much of the consumer world is finally embracing the notion that a critical part of a holistic-life/wellness package is tying one’s “inner light” to the architecture of exercise program design. Yin-yang is alive and flourishing. We couldn’t be more thrilled about what this means regarding the opportunities awaiting you in the industry and the health and wellness of those who choose to adopt such practices in their daily lives.

The growth trends are real:

The 2004 IDEA Programs & Equipment Survey put yoga and Pilates at the top of the list for trends infusing fitness. And they are poised to grow even more, according to 65% of survey respondents.

Yoga Journal just released its second annual “Yoga in America” survey. According to the study, 7.5% of U.S. adults (16.5 million people) now practice yoga—a 5.6% increase from the year before and a 43% increase since 2002.

According to the Pilates Method Alliance®, the rising popularity of Pilates has led to more than 9 million Americans practicing it.

Admittedly, compared to the wealth of research about human physiology and exercise, peer-reviewed empiric data supporting the positive effects of mind-body methods are in short supply. Until recently, scientists focused much of their efforts on what they could see and measure in blood, bone and tissue. To be sure, the effects of meditation on a person’s well-being are far more difficult to quantify than increased VO2max.

But research has persisted, and scientists have made impressive headway. The result is a growing body of research supporting the mind-body connection. You can see this progress unfold as it happens by turning to the Mind-Body News and Inner IDEA columns in each issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.

To support your education and career efforts, IDEA launched a new mind-body membership category at the end of 2003. Although this membership option is currently in its infancy, we are formulating more benefits that will be particularly germane to those who select it. We’ve also increased the array of mind-body sessions for the 2005 IDEA World Fitness Convention®, including doubling the number of Pilates sessions offered last year.

Finally, we want to draw your attention to the phenomenal CEC section in this issue on mind-body and special populations. Not only will you be exposed to some exciting new concepts and adaptations in yoga, Pilates and tai chi, but you will have the opportunity to “earn while you learn.”

This genre has major staying power. In fact, it may have more potential than any of us realize. Its implications for you, your clients and the world at large are inspiring to ponder.

Pay Raises Mixed in 2005, page 17. Get a sneak preview of the numbers from the IDEA Fitness Industry Salary Survey 2004.

New Insights Into Circuit Training, page 24. Use the science behind circuits to meet the challenges of modern program design.

Mind-Body CEC Section, page 46. Earn CEC credits or just enjoy reading these three in-depth features covering Pilates, yoga and mind-body programming for special populations.

Cooking for One, page 84. Chef Kyle Shadix, MS, RD, provides tips and easy-to-prepare recipes for the solo eater.

Cuing Beyond Counting, page 92. How to get your message across effectively to class participants.

How to Ask for a Raise, page 105. Even if you have knees and abs of steel, they may turn to mush at the mere thought of asking for more money.

Yours in good health,

Kathie and Peter Davis


Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.

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