Since 1998, the instructors at Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a—Hawaiian for “School Of Hula Where Everyone Is Family”—have carried on the traditions of their native language, song, and dance by teaching the hula to generations young and old. Hula illustrates a story through dance and music, often accompanied by a ukulele, guitar, or drum. Newcomers start out with the basic hula steps and movements, learning Hawaiian vocabulary and songs to prepare them for advancement to more complicated movements and a steady diet of only poi smoothies. Other classes teach students how to strum the ukulele and dance the tahitian brand of hula.
While for some people the idea of getting into golf shape sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, for Matt Averill it?s an all-consuming passion. As both a teaching professional and a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Matt possesses a broad perspective on teaching the game of golf?one that sees beyond simple swing tweaks to consider the physical shape of the person swinging the club. His golf-specific training gym, Matt?s Fit. Fore Golf, focuses on this approach. Inside, golfers work hard to improve such biomechanical attributes as balance, flexibility, coordination, and brute strength, aiming for substantial gains in shot distance and control. The training methods also help players avoid injury caused by overuse and tugs-of-war over a lucky putter.
Matt devises and oversees a personal-training regimen for each student, helping him or her reach their goals through such exercises as squats, short-burst sprints, and explosive jumps. Matt is also a student of his own techniques and a testament to their effectiveness, as he competes nationally in Long Drive Championships and boasts a personal best drive of 407 yards in competition.
Ataraxia Wellness Concern borrowed their name from an ancient Greek term used to describe a state free from worry or preoccupation; a state, which in their belief, can be attained through the power of laughter. With their laughter-yoga curriculum, the Ataraxia crew share a therapeutic art form that was created in 1995 by Madan Kataria, MD. Although Dr. Kataria was living in India at the time, his method for self-induced wellness has spread to 65 countries around the globe.
Instructors use eye contact and their own chortling bellows to induce laughter without cracking jokes or hiring one to three stooges on staff. They blend childlike playfulness with yogic breathing, working in themes such as disco dancing or pirates to stimulate the body’s natural release of endorphins and serotonin. In addition to considering it as a form of emotional and psychological catharsis, they believe laughing may also help improve cardiovascular and pulmonary function since laughter itself can be an aerobic workout. Even if their students aren’t in a laughing mood, they encourage them to come and chuckle anyhow, as just faking a chuckle can be enough to trick the body into feeling better.
Some athletes train for a specific type of fitness. Olympic weightlifters, for example, concentrate solely on their muscle power, and, thus, wouldn't fare well in a long-distance race, just as most marathoners probably don't perform many clean-and-jerks or bench-press compact cars. But most people are not Olympic weightlifters or professional marathoners. For the general population, a more general approach to fitness is what yields long-term health and wellness.
That's why CrossFit SW Beaverton's members might participate in both power and endurance exercises?as well as calisthenics, gymnastics, and sprints?in a given Workout of the Day. The gym's certified coaches devise these ever-changing daily regimens to deliver results in a variety of fitness categories. Exercisers can then take these attributes into other areas of life that require fitness and commitment, such as raising children, staying active into old age, and protecting the family thumb-wrestling title belt.
Sneakers pound the grass during shriek-filled games of tag. But this isn’t recess, it’s Portland Fit Camp, and the jubilant players aren’t children but women sculpting muscles during the intense, outdoor adult version of the classic game. With a max of 24 campers, the sessions have an intimate feel, and their participants are fueled by their collective energy and the motivational training of a certified instructor. For five days a week for four-week sessions, the groups meet in the park for muscle-shocking routines that change daily to avoid plateaus. Core-based, functional exercises such as agility ladder drills, air squats, and hill sprints are all taught to students, who break the traditional workout routine with games of tag or games of capture the flag taped to the squirrel’s back.
Born To Ride Cycle and Fitness is a spinning-only fitness center, meaning this is the place for anyone serious about cycle fitness. Inside this spacious, mirror-lined studio, state-of-the-art Schwinn AC Performance Plus stationary bikes are lined up and ready to be pedaled furiously during the Mid-Morning Motivator class, during which sprints, climbing, and intervals are propelled by heart-pounding music. Additionally, the Rider’s Bootcamp sessions, much like trying to carry a greasy anvil up a set of stairs, promise to “leave your legs shakin’.” Instructors here are passionate about the health benefits of spinning, and strive to make both their personal training sessions and their group classes fun, motivating, and completely addictive.