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Pop, Wave and Lock Your Way to Fitness
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It's more than yoga, more than hip-hop, more than modern dance. Adilibria II and Adi Street Hop mix yoga, dance styles and hit music.

Sport is fun and now you can enjoy the pure joy of it - that's the message behind Adidas Fitness Academy's two new courses, Adilibria II and Street Hop. The theme is "Sport is a Game.”

Inhale, open your arms. Exhale, close your arms. Raise your head, open your eyes and release your arms. Inhale deeply, raise your arms. Exhale, drop your body forward. Again, one more time.

The hall in the Shanghai Oriental Art Center has a touch of tranquility and relaxation. Around 30 women in purple yoga pants with wide legs stand on yoga mats and follow the instructions.

You may think this is a yoga class. Partly right. This is an Adilibria class at the Adidas Fitness Academy.

Adilibria is designed especially for Asian women. It combines elements such as libria, or balance, and modern ballet and fuses static and dynamic states. It relieves both the body and the nerves.

Adilibria was created by veteran yoga instructor Lin Min, a sports expert with Adidas. "The course is largely inspired by kyoga created by yoga master Kamal, who is the most influential trainer in my yoga career," Lin says. "His yoga theory says that no matter how stiff your body is, you can soften it through persistent practice."

She notes that through regular practice of Adilibria, the body becomes limber and strong.

The class offers different practice focusing on different parts of the body. Stretching and turning the backbone and muscles will increase flexibility and improve blood circulation. Static practice of balance strengthens the stamina of joints and muscles. Dynamic practice strengthens the flexibility and heart and lung function.

"Just like the slogan of Adidas 'impossible is nothing,' Adilibria is 'the story of the impossible'," Lin adds. "The backbone, joints and muscles are the hardest to soften. But this program can turn the impossible to possible."

Like music, yoga has its own specific rhythm. The rhythm of Adilibria reflects the four seasons.

The first part falls in the morning or when the body is stiff. It warms you up by waking up your joints and muscles. The second part falls in the day to fill you with energy. The third part falls in the late afternoon to calm you down and relieve your nerves. The fourth part falls in the evening to fully relax your body and bring you peace in body and mind.

Lin adds different rhythms. "With the same music, you can repeat it three or six times at home. It's up to you, according to your own breathing rhythm."

Adi Street Hop also illustrates the concept "Sport is a game." This lively course is a mix of several dance styles and introduces hit music to encourage people to express their passion in dance and exercise.

It is created by US-based Christopher Michael Jones and Mandy Kerr, both all-around dancers. Jones began his dance classes when he was only two years old.

He is a true triple threat with performance credits as actor, dancer and vocalist that include Broadway touring companies, dancing for well-known artists and television and film appearances.

Having appeared in the popular TV sitcoms Sex and the City and Sesame Street, Kerr also performed with famous artists such as Michael Jackson and N SYNC. She is now recording her own single.

"The experiences of dancing, acting and singing have great influence on the creation of Adi Street Hop," Jones says. "We try to bring entertainment to the fitness world."

"We want to give people a new exciting way to exercise," Kerr adds. "It would be exciting to blend dance and fitness. It's also good for the lovers of dance and fitness. That's the urge where it came from."

Though the course combines dance with fitness and the class covers a wide range of dance styles including waving and locking, it is very accessible to starters.

"The point is to keep it easy and fun," Jones says. "The program is mainly designed for our young generation, particularly the white-collar, blue-collar and everyday worker. We just want them to get relieved from all the burdens and have fun."

Super Girl Reborn group took part in the class, showed great interest and said in a statement: "Sometimes the exercises of artists are too results-oriented. This brand-new form of exercise offers us chances to experience the true joy of sport."

(Shanghai Daily August 17, 2007)

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