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Arnold Sports Festival brings more than weights to Columbus

When a lot of people think of the Arnold Sports Festival they think of bodybuilding and high-intensity sports.

COLUMBUS When a lot of people think of the Arnold Sports Festival they think of bodybuilding and high-intensity sports.

But 10TV talked with one woman who explained she wants to make sure everybody, and everybody, can get something out of the events.

It’s Julie Wilkes is the co-chair of the Arnold’s Lifestyle Fitness and Yoga training and workshops.

“You know, when a lot of people hear the word, ‘yoga,’ they think of one thing,” she said. “And we want to show that yoga is really for everyone. They may need to find their particular format, their style, their instructor; something that is relevant to what they need right now in their life.”

It’s why the Lifestyle Fitness and Yoga portion of the Arnold offers a wide variety of workshops.

“I’m going to meet you where you’re at and I’m going to make you comfortable in the space because you’re going to laugh,” said Charles Gibson, a fitness professional and motivational speaker. “Once I get you to laugh then we’re good.”

Gibson will present the workshop, “Adult Recess;” a blend of yoga, Pilates, kick-boxing and dance.

“It’s aimed for anyone who wants to do something different and challenge themselves, whether they’re young, whether they’re older; doesn’t matter,” he said. “Just to have fun and mix it up.”

Other instructors take a different approach.

“It’s some slow movement. You’ll leave feeling really good,” said Daniel Sernicola, a yoga instructor with a focus on healing and wellness. “You’ll leave feeling like your muscles have been lengthened and stretched out a little bit and you’ll leave feeling refreshed.”

Sernicola will present a program Saturday, March 7, called ‘Yoga for Athletes.’

He tells 10TV he hopes it inspires people who may have never tried it before.

“One of my hallmarks in teaching yoga is actually teaching it to people that may not be comfortable walking into a yoga studio,” Sernicola said.

Wilkes explained the benefits of having that variety in workshops to 10TV,

“Perhaps at one point in time, they're looking for a faster, stronger, more powerful flow. Perhaps another time they're looking for a more restorative or even more meditative practice,” she said. “But there's really something for everybody and when we get the chance to showcase that all in one place and allow individuals to come as they are, have fun, put their guards down, try new things, create community and connect together, that's really where some magic happens.”

On the first night of the Arnold, according to Wilkes, there will be a 5-hour event with 14 different presenters benefitting yoga opportunities in places that may not have access to it now, such as prisons, homeless shelters and underserved schools.

Saturday, there will be an entire day or workshops and on Sunday there will be a yoga teacher training to help instructors interested in working with those underserved populations.

For those interested in something a little more fast-paced, there will be 12 different dance formats offered for Arnold visitors to experience.

A handful of those formats include swerve hip-hop, Zumba, Pilates and masala bhangra, an Indian cardio fitness program.

There’s also Fly Girl, which is similar to hip-hop but uses stacked choreography.

“A lot of people don’t do fitness in a way of bodybuilding or professionally, but a lot of people love to be able to do lifestyle fitness and be able to just exercise, dance, do yoga, and they may not be introduced to all the different options available,” said Pamela Conn, Lifestyle Fitness and Yoga event co-chair.

To see more information on the schedule of events and programs, click here.

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