Pow and Zen

Written by Keen Azariah Category: Health & Fitness Issue: April 2014
Group Free

Combine physical activity and cerebral calm with these local mind-body melds.

It’s said that a poorly conditioned mind defeats the purpose of a well-conditioned body. So as we’re bombarded with trendy diets and infomercials that hardwire us into thinking the only objective of exercise is exterior validation, we should also remember that exercise is spiritual. It keeps the cheeseburgers off your thighs and balances your chi. Here are a few Zen-friendly Valley workouts to help you restore that delicate balance between mind and body.

Zennis at Sanctuary on Camelback
If Zennis (pictured) had been popular in the 1980s, perhaps it could have saved John McEnroe a few heart palpitations. This form of yoga emphasizes tennis-oriented stretches and movements, with the objective of enhanced physical awareness, tennis-based body mechanics, calmness and fluidity. So backhand your proverbial butt-pains and tell your stressors they’ve been served. $50 lesson fee per person.
5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, 480-948-2100

Yoga at Yoga Pura
Simply walking into Yoga Pura puts you in a world of physical comfort and mental relaxation. This tranquil, three-studio oasis stimulates the senses and stocks everything you could possibly need, from complimentary hot teas to books and clothing. Yoga Pura offers classes in a wide variety of styles, with different levels of intensity, including beginner’s yoga, slow-paced restorative and kid’s yoga. Drop-in classes cost $17, and your first class is free.
15440 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-843-7872

Tai Chi at Taoist Tai Chi Society
Hidden among the storefronts of the Scottsdale Crossing shopping center, you’ll find the Taoist Tai Chi Society studio. Founded by Master Moy Lin-shin, the TTCS is a contribution-based organization with 500 locations worldwide. Their slow-paced turning and stretching is designed to maximize the flexibility, calmness and well-being of students in any age range.
2765 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 623-252-0027

Qigong at Phoenix Longevity Arts
Walking through Tempe’s Scudder Park on a Sunday afternoon, you may come across the donation-based Phoenix Longevity Arts’ Qigong (pronounced chee-gung) class. Said to improve stamina, circulation, joint flexibility and mental focus, the ancient practice of Qigong may be just what you need to balance out your mojo. Sundays at 1 p.m.; call for expanded schedule.
Scudder Park, 2811 S. Lakeshore Dr., Tempe, 480-296-3107