Monday, March 16, 2009

Staying Fit with Budokon

Sure yoga has had more than its fifteen minutes of fame and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be over any time soon, and pilates is still a popular offering for those looking to add a bit more intensity to their workout, but there is a new type of “miracle exercise” popping up in magazines, gossip rags, and newspapers over the last few years. Have you ever wondered why Friends Courteney Cox Arquette and Jennifer Aniston are able to keep their figures and their friendship so tight? If you enjoy yoga but are also in love with the high-intensity kickboxing class across the hall, try a fusion class like Budokon (bu-do-kon) and get hip with the Hollywood crowd. Budokon is spiritual rhythmic class involving the poses of yoga with the quick, cardio aspect of martial arts training that is quickly sweeping the red carpet.

Created in 2000 by Los Angeles-based trainer Cameron Shayne, the word Budokon is Japanese for “Way of the Spiritual Warrior” and Shayne is the embodiment of his creation. Budokon isn’t just the hyped-about new fusion workout that has celebrities praising his name, but is more about precision and technique while being true to your mind and spirit while tending to your body’s health needs. Shayne says that Budokon is a “living art,” he goes on to say that it encompasses your entire being, “It is your waking and your sleeping, your walking and your sitting, your living and your dying.” Shayne promises that he isn’t selling anything with Budokon and that there are no gimmicks, there is only something he calls "The Way."

Although “The Way” sounds like a connection to a religion or another structured practice, Shayne emphasizes that it is merely a zen way of approaching your life and is not meant to be taken as enlightenment. There is a specific philosophy attached to the practice of Budokon as a way of connecting spirituality to the physical and mental stages of the art, but it primarily focuses on the individual and letting go of attachments and being true to yourself above all else.

There are three steps to bringing Budokon into your life. First, study the practices and do them regularly, keeping a fluid motion within your body and an open communication with your mind. Check out the locations to find a Budokon class near you or to inquire when a teaching workshop will be in your area.

Second, learn the ten cultivations of Budokon and research the food guidelines in order to attain the highest level of effectiveness in order to completely balance to your life. The cultivations are simple and range from simple and direct, “Order before chaos,” to something more complex for example, “Humility before dishonor.” Food guidelines are also straightforward and easy to follow by advising against eating or drinking a lot before practice and sticking to light foods, keeping a diet of leafy vegetables throughout the day, using meat sparingly in your diet, staying away from rich foods, and trying to eat only natural sugars like honey and stevia, among others.

The third and final step to acquiring full Budokon is to keep a rhythm moving from the peaceful yogic poses to fast moving cardio kicks to the seated meditation as the final part of a class.

Of course the steps are aquired over time and beginners are not obliged to be graceful right away, as Ellen McCarthy of The Washington Post learned when she experimented in a class taught by a student of Shayne’s. McCarthy later calls the experience, “A hell of a workout.” On her recommendation alone, I would volunteer to try out a class or two and challenge my body to work outside of its comfort zone for a bit, I think it sounds like fun regardless of whether or not the rest of the Budokon lifestyle fits me. Budokon may end up being another fad exercise trend that celebrities will wear out soon, but it seems to be gaining strength for now. If it makes you feel good and helps to make your body look like you could be a starlet’s body double, more power to founder Cameron Shayne and the refreshing style known as Budokon.

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