Friday, February 27, 2009

May the Force Be With You

Consider trading yoga for Yoda during your next workout. Pick up your lightsaber, tie your hair in Princess Leia-style buns, don a brown cloak and get ready to learn the teachings of Yoda and the way of the Jedi. Not to prep you for an audition to be an extra in the final three Star Wars episodes should George Lucas decide to finish out the series, but so you can apply that fanaticism to fitness.

The Jedi workout is the latest craze hitting the fitness floor, calling out to Star Wars fans, gym-shy peeps and anyone who's dreamt of playing with a lightsaber (haven't we all at one point or another?). Developed in 2005 by a Star Wars enthusiast who goes by Master Flynn, the workout consists of moves you'd see one of the episodes' fight scenes--the Rebound, Follow-through and the Lock.

The kicker? Flynn says that he never intended for it to be a workout. "The class was originally about appreciating swordsmanship and performance," he says. But those who visited his classes found the moves appealing and in practice, managed to shed some pounds. Swinging around a lightsaber in a combination of martial arts moves and stage combat know-how harnesses an upper and lower body workout plus cardio. And for classes that run two hours a pop, that beats any strength session in the gym.

Flynn orginally started a forum on his website that had people worldwide sharing saber moves and skills. By 2006, he was teaching a class in lightsaber battling in New York City. It has become so popular that he has partners teaching in Los Angeles and running a site

Even if you're not living in the Big Apple or the City of Angels, you can practice and learn at home by checking out You don't even need a lightsaber--a broomstick, a massage stick or even a stickball bat would do the trick.

Just think of how pleased Yoda and the Jedi Force would be. Photo grabbed from xddorox at flickr. Posted by Kate

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