Get inspired. Here are a few unique group exercises classes offered at the University of Montana that help spark user engagement and keep the students coming back for more. Maybe you could start one of these at your rec center?
What: Groups of two or more people perform exercises on the Pilates Reformer to promote length, strength, flexibility and balance. This Pilates practice leads to improved posture, coordination and relief from joint pain.
Why: According to Emily Simpson, the senior assistant director of fitness programs at the University of Montana, they had several requests from university staff members for private sessions — either individual or small group.
Price: Pilates Reformer fitness classes cost $5 per session. Private individual sessions are $30 per session and private small group sessions – two to three people – are $36. “The price is exceptionally low for Pilates Reformer, but since this is a college campus, the first priority is our students,” said Simpson. “We didn’t want participation to be cost-prohibitive.”
Advice: Simpson suggested offering as many sessions as possible on different days and times. She said education is also essential. “Many are unaware of what Pilates is, both mat and reformer,” she explained. “Education is key to understanding Pilates and becoming comfortable as a Pilates student.”
What: OULA.One is a heart-based, musically-inspired yoga dance fusion class. The 55-minute session is done barefoot on the mat, with no jumping or impact, making it accessible to nearly all populations. Completely choreographed to music, participants journey through spinal warming and activation, balancing and strengthening, core work, stretching, and relaxation. The goal of the class is to help participants become grounded in a sense of self.
Why: Simpson explained OULA is very popular in the Missoula community and OULA Fitness has expanded their offerings. OULA.One is one of the newer offerings. “One of the current OULA instructors on staff here approached me with the idea of offering OULA.One this fall,” said Simpson.
Price: OULA.One is a punch card classes, meaning the cost ranges from $1.06 to $2.00 per class, based on which punch card is purchased. Simpson explained a single punch card is $2, a 10-punch care is $13 and a 30-punch card is $32.
Advice: If you offer other OULA classes, Simpson advised offering OULA.One directly after an OULA or OULA Power class so the instructor can promote the classes as a cool down.
What: A passive practice that involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held for three-to-five minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia.
Why: “We offer several Vinyasa, restorative and continuing yoga classes, but one of the instructors wanted to try Yin,” said Simpson. “It diversifies our yoga offerings.”
Price: Similar to OULA.One., Yin yoga is a punch card class.
Advice: Make sure other yoga instructors know what Yin practice is and can explain and promote the class to their classes as well.