Unique gym invites public to Aug. 26 open house

CEDAR CITY — Origins Family Fitness — now Origins Movement Arts —h as been serving the community with unique classes for 3 1/2 years. People are often surprised to find that they can take high-quality parkour and aerial silk classes right in Cedar City.

Also offered are excellent bungee fitness and aerial yoga classes. You are invited to an open house where you can experience free mini-classes, watch performances, find out about new offerings, and maybe even win something in the fun giveaways. The open house will be held from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Origins gym, located at 593 N 1450 W, Cedar City.

But what are these classes all about? Although each of these classes is a sort of specialty, they have certain things in common. The owners wanted to offer classes that would help clients grow and progress in a more holistic and enjoyable way.

Parkour may just seem like a foreign wor — and it is. Well, almost. The word is derived from the French phrase “parcours du combattant”, or “the path of the warrior.” This was the obstacle course part of “The Natural Method” of training that was developed as the result of a young French naval lieutenant witnessing a natural disaster. This method later evolved into the astonishing obstacle-overcoming movement that is known today as parkour.

At the beginning of the 20th century, George Hebert helped to coordinate the evacuation of over 700 people who had to flee a Caribbean town when a volcano catastrophically erupted. In the process, George observed that while the indigenous people were able to overcome the obstacles in their path with creativity and grace, the Europeans struggled greatly as they clumsily searched for the smooth roadways which no longer existed.

This experience set him on a path to help others regain the natural movement patterns that had been lost by “modern man” which enable one to move powerfully and efficiently, as well as overcome obstacles. What’s more, he held the belief that for one to be really useful, or “fit,” physical conditioning and athletic skills must be combined with courage and altruism. This gave rise to the original parkour motto: “Etre fort pour être utile” – “Be strong to be useful.”
This is the kind of “fitness“ Origins Family Fitness is intended to help its clients achieve.

However, since the common usage of “fitness” is most often understood to indicate physical strength achieved through repetitive (and shall we say sometimes boring?) movements, the business is transitioning their brand to Origins Movement Arts to better convey the kind of pursuits which are offered.

The artistic element is easily seen when watching aerial silk students climb long strips of suspended fabric and perform acrobatic maneuvers in the air. The combination of strength, flexibility, and grace achieved is inspiring, to say the least. Though once reserved for circus acts, this challenging and fulfilling art form is now accessible to the public. The curriculum at Origins is designed to enable beginners to acquire essential foundational skills and progress through the seven-level program at their own pace.

For those who are intrigued by aerial silks but wish for a less intimidating option, Origins offers aerial yoga. This is also a great class for anyone looking to expand or add variety to their yoga practice. Class members are supported by a hammock, which can be used to help one relax into a deeper stretch, achieve usually-difficult inversions much more easily, and explore new movements and positions not possible with regular yoga. Both aerial silks and aerial yoga have the added benefits of improving blood and lymph circulation, as well as spinal decompression.

Bungee fitness is another fun way of adding support to your movement nutrition. Participants wear a harness attached to a bungee, which softens some movements and expands other movement possibilities. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable way of “working out” your whole body.

In addition to all of this, Origins will also be introducing some new offerings at the open house. Be sure to stop by on Aug. 26. Wear your movement-friendly clothes (no zippers please if you want to try out the aerial classes) and be ready for a great time.

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