Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bhangra - feel the burn!

I was doing my usual exercise routine at Fitness World when a different kind of music started blaring from the speakers. It was distinctly Indian. On the exercise floor, a small group of ladies began an aerobics program I had not seen before. This must the new class called bhangra, I thought to myself.

I was fascinated by the music. Very rhythmic, just like the ones you hear in Bollywood movies. Is it open to all? Is it free to members? I later asked the FW receptionist. After making sure anyone could join the class, I started attending it every Thursday night.

Bhangra is an intense dance and music mix. Kinda hip hop. There's a lot of arm and hip movements. I'm glad my boys aren't here to see me jiggle and wiggle...

Our female instructor is probably in her early twenties. She is full of energy and she barks instructions like a prison guard, which is her other job, by the way. "FEEL THE BURN!" "FASTER!" "CLEAN THE WINDOWS!"

Clean the windows? Strangely, she names most of the moves after a house chore. Is it a coincidence that all of the participants are women, some middle-aged like me?

"Bhangra is all about house cleaning!" the instructor shouts. "Clean the windows!"... " "Wipe the table!"... "Open the door!"... "Flush the toilet!"... "Kill the mosquito!"... "Feed the dog!"... I think that is very funny. "Knead the dough...put it in the oven..." Okay, gym time is ME time, and here I am reminded of things I'd rather leave at home.

We have other moves called "Smack the boy"... "Under arrest",(these two should probably go together), "Pick the apples", "Put them in the basket", "Drive, drive... step on the brake" (this one really burns the abs and thighs).

During the cool down, we are told to lie on our mats and close our eyes. "Forget your anxieties. Forget the bills you have to pay..." Oh thanks for mentioning it, that will really relax me...

An hour of bhangra and I have had a good cardio exercise. Intense! I'm all sweaty, hot and spicy. The next day, I am very sore. I rest from gym. Saturday, I'm still slightly sore, but able to resume my workouts.

Here's a clip on bhangra workout and an interview with its creator, Sarina Jain. Our class is not exactly like it--I believe we do more house cleaning--but you will get the idea. Enjoy!


shirlock said...

Dear Leri,

Bhangra sounds like a Bollywood import indeed. I had a seriously good laff at the home chores 'moves' as part of the workout. Now if you are a friend, I'd expect you to teach us at Esther's birthday party, including the bicep building "suck that dust" vacuum maneouver and possibly, "swiffer the corner cobwebs".

Great stuff you have on your blog. I'm enjoying it very much.


lerryblossoms said...

but shirl, i'm so looking forward to belly dancing at esther's! besides, her house is too clean to inspire those cobweb-swiffering maneouvers. now if the party were at my place...