It’s that time of year again– as the clock strikes twelve on January 1st, many of us will make fitness resolutions with good intentions. Here are some fun, unique fitness classes to help you be resolute in your fitness routine this New Year.
This martial art, which comes complete with a rich cultural history, will strengthen you and give you new levels of flexibility. Many claim it also gives them creativity, concentration, confidence, and courage. Angolan slaves in Brazil founded the sport nearly 500 years ago. The combination of fighting moves, ritual, music, and acrobatics led the Brazilian authorities to outlaw the practice. Currently, there are two different schools of Capoeira instruction, with studios across the world.
Acroyoga classes combine yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage in a more intense form of yoga. It improves your strength, flexibility, and can even provide stress relief for participants. Acroyoga combines static poses with acrobatics and relies on trust between partners to safely complete the poses. The main elements of these yoga sessions are an opening circle ceremony, a warm-up to ensure your muscles are warm, partner flow, to help build trust, and then inversions and acrobatics. AcroYoga Inc has a class finder on their website, making this a reasonably accessible class.
PiYo is what it sounds like– a mixture of Pilates and yoga. Created by fitness guru Chalene Johnson, PiYo is a program that combines full body workouts with an eating plan. This workout program combines strength, balance, and flexibility training all in one, and works out all parts of your body, from your shoulders to your calves. PiYo is more upbeat than your traditional yoga class and incorporates martial arts and dance elements as well as pilates and yoga. Instructors offer these courses across the country, but you can even order a DVD set if you’d like to sweat in the comfort of your own home.
Imi Lichtenfeld, an Israeli martial artist, created this form of martial art, borrowing elements from aikido, judo, karate, boxing, and wrestling, along with other practical fighting elements. Krav Maga has an emphasis on aggression and is notable for its use in real-world fighting scenarios. One example of this real-world use is the teaching of empty-hand weapon defenses, teaching practitioners to defend against a pistol, a knife, or a bat. Currently, the British SAS, Israel Defense Forces, and US Air Force teach their members Krav Maga. Many boxing gyms and martial arts studios offer Krav Maga classes.
This 55-minute cardio dance class combines the music of South Asia with dance moves inspired by Bollywood. Each of the 8-11 songs in the routine targets a different muscle group, with the class ending in a stretching and reflection period. Dubbed the “happiest workout in NYC,” there are very few cities that offer Doonya in a traditional class format at the time of this article’s publication. However, you can purchase workouts online, and even can choose to do exercises that target specific muscle groups, if you wish.
Have you tried any of these unique classes? Do you have any class recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below!