ACAC ex­pands its Mind Body of­fer­ings

With class sizes in­creas­ing, West Ch­ester area fit­ness cen­ter in­vests in stu­dios to hold yoga and Pi­lates classes

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian McCul­lough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

ACAC in West Goshen is ex­pand­ing its of­fer­ings for the mind with the open­ing of its new Mind Body Suite.

“This space is amaz­ing. It is the per­fect en­vi­ron­ment to turn in­ward in.” – Brian Cen­tonze, Mind Body di­rec­tor at the ACAC near West Ch­ester

Train­ers at ACAC have been work­ing on bod­ies for years. Now, with the open­ing of its new Mind Body Suite, the fit­ness cen­ter on McDer­mott Drive is ex­pand­ing its of­fer­ings for the mind.

ACAC re­cently spent $800,000 ren­o­vat­ing a sec­tion of its sprawl­ing fa­cil­ity to up­grade and add to its of­fer­ings in yoga and Pi­lates.

It in­cludes a 1,400-square­foot heated yoga stu­dio, an ad­di­tional 1,100-square-foot mind body stu­dio, a Pi­lates Re­former stu­dio, and a pri­vate yoga lounge.

“We saw a grad­ual in­crease in class at­ten­dance due to the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of yoga over the last year,” ACAC gen­eral man­ager Beth Carotenuto said. “We found that more begin­ner classes were at ca­pac­ity as mem­bers be­gan to learn and un­der­stand the ben­e­fits of yoga. We also saw a var­ied pop­u­la­tion in these classes, in­clud­ing men and those over age 55, who were sup­ple­ment­ing their work­outs to achieve stress re­lief, in­crease flex­i­bil­ity, in­crease strength, im­prove con-

di­tion­ing, and build their over­all health. In ad­di­tion, we were meet­ing the needs of mem­bers who were rec­om­mended to yoga through their physi­cian. With the mar­ket grow­ing, we needed to ex­pand our space.”

The suite will be a huge de­par­ture from the typ­i­cal “gym yoga” at­mos­phere and in­cludes a pri­vate en­trance, Carotenuto said dur­ing a tour ear­lier this week. It will satisfy those who look for a bou­tique ex­pe­ri­ence while also pro­vid­ing ac­cess to ameni­ties such as locker rooms and child care, she added.

Jill Ac­chione, as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager at ACAC, said yoga has grown in pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years among those who ex­er­cise be­cause the typ­i­cal work­out short­ens mus­cles while yoga ex­tends them.

With the new stu­dios, ACAC can now of­fer the dif­fer­ent forms of yoga, from the more pas­sive, mind­ful styles to the power yoga oth­ers pre­fer.

With the ex­pan­sion, ACAC is in­creas­ing the num­ber of Mind Body classes to 78 a week from around 50 it had be­fore the ren­o­va­tion project was com­plete.

The large stu­dio can fit 80 to 90 mats while the other yoga stu­dio fits about 30.

“This space is amaz­ing,” said Brian Cen­tonze, Mind Body di­rec­tor at the ACAC near West Ch­ester. “It is the per­fect en­vi­ron­ment to turn in­ward in.”

As an added com­po­nent, ACAC is now an autho­rized Reg­is­tered Yoga School through Yoga Al­liance, where in­struc­tors can train and earn their teach­ing cer­tifi­cates.

The new of­fer­ings are also pop­u­lar among those who are go­ing through or who have been through can­cer treat­ments as well as those just start­ing out in an ex­er­cise plan, Carotenuto said.

“It’s a great stress re­liever,” she said.

A new sur­vey re­leased ear­lier this year finds yoga’s pop­u­lar­ity on the in­crease.

Yoga Jour­nal and Yoga Al­liance have been con­duct­ing the Yoga in Amer­ica Study ev­ery four years to look at the trends in the in­dus­try. The 2016 study found: • There are 36.7 mil­lion U.S. yoga prac­ti­tion­ers, up from 20.4 mil­lion in 2012;

• Prac­ti­tion­ers are sig­nif­i­cantly more in­volved in many other forms of ex­er­cise such as run­ning, cy­cling and weightlift­ing, than non-prac­ti­tion­ers;

• 74 per­cent of Amer­i­can prac­ti­tion­ers have been do­ing yoga for five or fewer years;

• The top five rea­sons for start­ing yoga are: flex­i­bil­ity (61 per­cent); stress re­lief (56 per­cent); gen­eral fit­ness (49 per­cent); im­prove over­all health (49 per­cent) and phys­i­cal fit­ness (44 per­cent);

• Women rep­re­sent 72 per­cent of prac­ti­tion­ers, com­pared to 28 per­cent of men.

A boom­ing in­dus­try

• 34 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say they are some­what or very likely to prac­tice yoga in the next 12 months;

• 80 mil­lion more Amer­i­cans will likely try yoga for the first time in 2016;

• Stu­dents spend $16 bil­lion per year on classes, gear and equip­ment, up from $10 bil­lion in 2012.

New trends to mon­i­tor

• 37 per­cent of prac­ti­tion­ers have chil­dren under the age of 18 who also prac­tice yoga;

• 30- to 49-year-olds are 43 per­cent of the prac­tic­ing pub­lic, fol­lowed by 50 plus (38 per­cent) and 18-29 (19 per­cent).

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Brian Cen­tonze, di­rec­tor of the Mind Body Suite at ACAC Fit­ness & Well­ness Cen­ter, teaches a yoga class in a new stu­dio.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Brian Cen­tonze, di­rec­tor of the Mind and Body Suite at ACAC Fit­ness & Well­ness Cen­ter, teaches a yoga class in a new stu­dio.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Brian Cen­tonze, di­rec­tor of the Mind Body Suite at ACAC Fit­ness & Well­ness Cen­ter, teaches a yoga class in a new stu­dio.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The ACAC Fit­ness & Well­ness Cen­ter in West Goshen has opened a new Mind Body Suite.

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