“Know thyself” is one of the first tenets of good Intercultural Communications, but it also can be the source of life’s inspiration, as has been for fitness professional Hemalayaa Behl.
Hemalayaa (her professional name, a la Madonna and Beyonce) has infused yoga she learned from her father growing up with elements of Indian dances such as Bhangra into a fitness explosion. Her videos include Dance of the Karma Sutra and the Bollywood Dance Series: The Bollywood Dance Workout, Bollywood Booty and Bollywood Burn.
With a nod to her intercultural heritage, her parents are from Northern India, but she herself is native Canadian, now living in Ojai, CA and teaching in LA.
Other cultural inspirations for fitness include Zumba, which “fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves.” Created by celebrity fitness trainer “Beto” Perez in his native Cali, Colombia, as of May 2010 the Zumba program is being taught at over 60,000 locations in 105 countries with 7.5 million participatns taking Zumba classes every week.
Aerobics Axe is a Brazilian/Samba infused workout, although I have to admit as a USAmerican I felt like I needed to remove an extra pin in my hip joints to do it effectively when I took a class in Brazil once. But it is FUN!
And, for a parallel to engagement and inclusion, look at the amazing things that happen when individuals are given (or take) the space to add their own personal style to the work that they do.
Maybe there’s still a chance for my “Jewish Kvetch*” workout, as in “Oi, I know, this is awful…just give me 10 more reps…Are we schvitzing* or what?”
What would happen if you sprinkled a little of your cultural heritage into your work?
*Mini Yiddish Lesson: Kvetch–to complain; Schvitz, to sweat.