Glenda Baker leads her aqua chi class at Avera McKennan. Roseann Burkett (to the right) has MS and loves the classes.
In this day and age of constantly being on the go frayed nerves can get the best of us and our health. The one thing that can help is the one thing we do without thinking; breathing. Nancy Naeve Brown went to the Avera McKennan Fitness Center to watch how Aqua Chi helps us slow down to heal the mind and body.
For everyone in the warm water pool at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center, the Aqua Chi class is their 45 minute time out. In her calm soothing voice instructor Glenda Baker tells her class to leave their worries at the door and let the water wash away their kinks.
Glenda says, "Something about the water makes it impossible to keep the knots in your muscles. There is just something about 94 degree water that your body just kind of goes ahhhhhh. The muscles relax. It's hard to keep your shoulders up and tight when you are in the water."
Roseann Burkett hasn't missed an Aqua Chi class in two years. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995 and has noticed a difference in how her body reacts to this movement.
Roseann say, "It helps with my stiff muscles. It relaxes me and it's improved my balance tremendously. I'm much stronger. I walk better and I deal better with everyday life."
Because Roseanne has balance issues getting on traditional equipment you see in the gym is scary for her. That's why aqua chi works perfectly."
Roseann says, "I'm afraid of falling and I do fall. And so the classes in the water I don't have that fear."
And you shouldn't be afraid when you are healing your body and mind.
Glenda says, "It is that connection of literally slowing down and letting your body breathe like it truly should breathe all the time. And when you can teach people to breathe even in a 45 minute class they start practicing it in other places and that's when the body starts to react in a more positive manner."
It's amazing what proper posture, deep breathing and warm water can do to help you find your chi.
When the Avera McKennan Fitness Center first started Aqua Chi classes 5 years ago, they offered 1 or 2 a week, but because of its increasing popularity they are up to 7 classes a week. To find more information on times and days go to http://www1.avera.org/amfc/