Browsing all articles tagged with North American
FIT
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About Meditation Classes

A popular tradition practice for over five millennia, meditation is based on deep concentration leading to awareness and development of the spiritual side of the individual. Meditation is a requirement of the leading faiths of the world and continues to grow in both religious and secular practice. As a result of the widespread and diverse nature of meditation for the student, meditation classes cover a very broad landscape of choice, from the full commitment of the religious temple to the online prerecorded audio guide.

 

The religious faith that involves meditation practice and takes meditation perhaps more seriously than any other is Buddhism. Since meditation is a central element of the Buddhist eightfold path of view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration, instruction can take a much more intensive form than other modes of meditation. In the US, for example, those wishing to learn Buddhist meditation without a clear commitment to the Buddhist faith can still have a choice of rich experiences at their disposal.

 

For a North American university-level experience, Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado is a “contemplative education” institution incorporating Buddhist meditative experience into a variety of degree programs. Naropa also offer a master’s program psychotherapy in which Buddhist meditative instruction plays a central role.

 

Some choices can be costly for the beginning student: the Shambhala Mountain Center, located high in the Colorado mountains, offers a full menu of meditation classes, including techniques of Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhism, regular meditation retreats, courses in contemplative theory, and many other programs. The mountain-air atmosphere is well chosen, but the student is well advised to look elsewhere for more affordable introductions to Buddhist meditation.

 

A popular form of meditation retreat in North America and Europe is the satsang, an all-inclusive retreat involving both community and solitary activity. Individuals taking part in a satsang are assisted in their meditation exercises towards overall goals of enlightenment. The teacher, or leader of the satsang, encourages a silent association with one’s “inner truth” but engages in dialogue with the student where necessary to seek out meditative techniques suitable for the individual.

 

Perhaps the most popular form of meditation in the western world is Transcendental Meditation (TM), derived from ancient Hindu tradition. The TM course is four days in length, after which the student is given a mantra, the keyword (usually Sanskrit) to act as the focal point for each meditation session. There is a $2500 charge for the introductory TM course, another cost consideration for the beginner. TM instructors teach the concentrative form of meditation, which is intended to free the mind to a point where the body is at rest but the mind is alert.

 

The exhaustively researched health benefits of meditation are by now well known and include stress reduction, decreased oxygen consumption, a sharp improvement in heart and respiratory rates, improved mood and heightened awareness. As a result, many hospitals in North America offer secular meditation courses for patients and the general public.

FIT
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The Benefits of Zumba

If you are looking to work out you have probably heard the saying “Ditch the Workout, Join the Party! This is the marketing slogan for Zumba fitness all over the world. In fact, Zumba fitness classes have become so popular that they are performed by more than twelve million people at 110,000 sites. It is also a fitness class that is offered in 125 countries across the world.  It seems newer here in North America but it is actually a North American invention.

Zumba comes out of a work-out routine called Rumba-cize that first came out in the 1980s. This aerobics style dance routine was invented by a man named Alberto Beto Perez.  This was a work-out that was done to Merengue and Rumba music. In 1999 he rebranded it and sold the routine as a franchise called Zumba.  The business currently makes it’s headquarters in Miami.

Zumba is a total-body high energy aerobic workout that is good for core strengthening and flexibility because a lot of the action takes place in the hip and midsection.

It is also similar to interval training because parts of the workout are more strenuous than others. Still, because it is a dance, people can do the workout at their own pace. This is not just any old routine. Instructors must be certified in doing the moves.

Zumba workouts also do not require any special equipment or clothing. All you need is to wear loose clothing that you are not afraid to sweat in. The important thing is to be comfortable. Many women wear loose cotton skirts as it helps them feel a bit more in the mood for dancing.

There are shops online that sell Zumba clothing which tends to be in the colorful primary colors that are characteristic of South American clothing. Many people exercise in loose cargo pants, bright t-shirts and flowery shorts.  Women often wear a snugger spaghetti tank that is covered by a looser racer back top.

You can do Zumba in your bare feet but most people wear some kind of gym shoe or running shoe.

Another wonderful thing about Zumba is that it does not matter what fitness level you are at.  Both fit people and less-fit people can do this dance workout and still receive It is also a fun work-out for children to do.

This work-out is offered in gyms and clubs for the most part but in some parts of the world it is also being offered in night clubs.