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by Krystal Choate, staff writer

The local YMCA actually makes yoga and other forms of fitness training affordable for all levels, through a wide variety of group classes and other programs.
“ I most enjoy the aerobic classes, said Catherine Sajna, associate professor in Teaching English as a Second Language, but now I do the cross-trainer machine and weights.” Sajna has been a member for about eight years and exercises at the Pali YMCA.
“ The Pali location works best, as I park my car at Pauoa Valley, and stop at the YMCA on my way to school,” said Sajna. “I have also joined the Kalihi facility which is nearer my home, but I find it too hard to actually leave the house just to exercise,” said Sajna.
The YMCA group classes inspire members to have fun while exercising. The YMCA offers mind/body, cardio, and aquatic classes, each meant to build members strength and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The YMCA offers group classes for the mind and body. Many of these classes are a variation of yoga and Pilate exercises. Barbara Fox, the Healthy Lifestyles director of YMCA Waipahu, said: “We offer Piyo, which is a yoga and Pilates-inspired class.” Pilate’s exercises are derived from gymnastics, ballet, and yoga. The exercise performed in this class will enhance abdominal, lower back, thigh, and glute strength. “We also offer Ashtanga I and II, which is the traditional practice of yoga,” said Fox. Ashtanga yoga, also called power yoga, is more vigorous than any other type of yoga class; it focuses on strength and stamina. Hatha yoga, a gentle series of yoga with slow transitions, and an emphasis on stretching and breathing. “And finally, we offer Vinyasa yoga,” said Fox. Vinyasa is a flowing combination of several principles, a nice combination of hatha and power moves, flexibility, and holding poses.
“ I highly recommend Ashtanga or Vinyasa Flow, for young adults practicing yoga,” said Tasha Kauihou, registered yoga teacher. “In these practices students will develop strength, endurance, stamina, and increase flexibility,” said Kauihou. “Its flowing style also helps to calm the young mind as it is constantly in the future wondering,” said Kauihou.
“ Yoga really helps students stay them in the present moment, which is what we all have to do to live a better life,” said Kauihou.
Fox said, “In order for us to attract young adults into our programs we add group classes like dance, such as cardio or hip hop, and Tae Kwon Do.” The hip hop class is a fun and creative way to do a cardio exercise it gets the heart pumping while members learn new dance combinations. The cardio dance class is a low-impact aerobic workout influenced by Latin, salsa, hip hop, or other combinations of styles.
The tae kwon do class is a type of martial art and a Korean combat sport. This class includes an exercise routine of fast, high, and spinning kicks.
The YMCA also provides child care, volunteer and community programs. The YMCA also offers other group exercises, fitness, and an exercise gym. For more locations and information about the YMCA of Honolulu visit their Web site at www.ymcahonolulu.org.



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