It is said that art imitates life and life imitates art. Must be true. Introducing…Pop-Bhangra a traditional Indian dance common in Bollywood films. Think high energy train station dance scene during the closing credits of Slumdog Millionaire.
Since the movie won 8 Academy Awards, Bhangra classes are popping up all over the U.S. Originated in the Punjab region, in it’s traditional form it is a highly energetic folk-dance that celebrates the coming of spring or Vaisakhi. Extremely popular at weddings and competitions it can now even be found in some gyms.
Pop-Bhangra fuses the traditional dance with hip-hop for a high energy workout. It uses every muscle in the body and requires “dancers” to remain on the balls of their feet, making it a very different and incredibly effective lower body workout. Jay Patel, who has been teaching this work-out for 5 years, and dance for over a decade, claims that participants will see very rapid improvement in their stamina and overall fitness. He also says that it can burn between 500-750 calories in 30-40 minutes and that anyone can do it. Beginners are encouraged to simply make their movements smaller and less intense and gradually make them bigger and more intense as they build their endurance and become more comfortable with the moves.
I sure do miss my SilverSneakers student Neerja who made basic aerobic moves look so gorgeous as she put her Bhangra background into all her movement classes. She also volunteered and taught a group her traditional dance moves and they loved it! Sadly for us, she moved away to be closer to her children and grandchildren, but I can still see her long ponytail and graceful arms swaying during class.
Jay Patel makes his workout available to everyone via his video called Bhangra Beats which can be found at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available at some national gyms such as Life Time Fitness. Since spring is rapidly approaching I may have to get myself a copy of that video!
From Pop-Bhangra to a walk thru the park, with spring about to spring, there is NO reason not to get those muscles moving and in tip-top shape for summer.
*As a side note, after just 3 days of eliminating dairy products and reducing sugars and salts while increasing whole grains, I am feeling better in both body and mind. I have taken off a couple of pounds, feel less bloated and for the moment I have some great focus and clarity. But as my good friend Lesley said so off the cuff, yet profoundly, just yesterday…”clarity comes and goes”….boy is that ever true.
I wish you a day of peaceandfitness and perhaps even some greater clarity. At least for this day. Tomorrow, we’ll check in on Biggest Loser. All I can say is when Sam goes home (he does NOT have enough weight to lose in order to make it to the winning spot) I will be totally bummed! He obviously was always beautiful on the inside, but now his outsides are beginning to match. What an inspiration.