CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Masala Bhangra Workout is not to be confused with tikka masala, the delicious Indian dish.
"Masala" means "spicy" in Hindi, and "Bhangra" is the traditional folk dance from the northern state of Punjab, India.
This workout joins a handful of others slated to begin in the new YMCA fall session.
"Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirits, mind and body for all," said Cheryl King, the marketing director for the YMCA of Kanawha Valley. "So fitness is a big part of that."
The fall session will offer the Masala Bhangra Workout, which is the first of its kind in the area, said Cathy Capps-Amburgey, the healthy living director for the YMCA of Kanawha Valley.
The workout is an exercise dance routine that modernizes the high-energy folk dances of Bhangra by blending traditional Bhangra dance steps and the exhilaration of Bollywood - or Hindi film - moves.
The unique dance mixes cardiovascular with fun and is suitable for participants of all ages and fitness levels, King said.
Piloxing, which began this summer, will also be offered for the first time in the fall session. Combing Pilates and boxing, the movements are fast and require more repetitions, Capps-Amburgey said.
"It's kind of like Pilates - on steroids. It's more aerobic and more cardio," King said.
Participants can use half-pounded weighted gloves, and this class can also be done barefoot or in yoga socks.
"Initially it feels very strange to your feet, but then those muscles develop, and it gives you greater stability for the Pilates portion of the class," Capps-Amburgey said. "You can grip with your toes and feel for better balance."
A few classes in the fall session are modifications from previous offerings.
"Gettin' Strong!" is a faster-paced class from previously offered muscular strength and endurance classes.
"We'll be using free weights, body bars, stability balls and your own body weight for that class," Capps-Amburgey said. "That will be for toning and strengthening and defining your muscles."
While similar classes have been offered like this one in the past, Gettin' Strong is more "intense" and involves an interval element that allows for cardio work.
The SilverSneakers Circuit class is a program for the senior population. Instead of sitting in the chair and exercising, as is the case with other SilverSneakers classes, SilverSneakers Circuit will involve participants standing and using the chair for support.
Participants will use a stretchy band and free weights for the cardio, strength and toning workout.
Classes are free to non-members Sept. 3-7. Free Creative Care childcare is available while working out. Participants are able to try any or all of the classes for free during the week.
Most classes are held in the East Gym or Noffsinger. Others are at the Pool, Fitness Center and Aikido Room.
For more information, visit www.ymcawv.org/charleston.
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