Nearly sixty percent of the human body is water. So it is no mistake that our bodies carry in them a deep connection to the earth and its fluidity. Our drive for movement is innate, so it is no wonder that the rolling tides of the ocean draw humans to stand upon its shores over and over again. To be human is to be connected with water, to almost feel its presence within you. We as people find meaning in the movement held within it.
Patrick Hoffner, Head of Fitness at ZUMA Wellness Center, speaks to this phenomenon with great respect and awe. As resident of the Gulf Coast himself, he recognizes the powerful impact water has upon a person. As a highly skilled trainer, he also understands that the way in which the human body moves can be healing and strengthening.
The drive to move our bodies and to be connected with water is as old as humanity, and is a primary reason why Patrick, when designing the programming at ZUMA, knew that the revolutionary BOGAFit program was the perfect opportunity for homeowners and visitors to connect with each other and their environment as they moved to strengthen their bodies upon the water.
BOGAFit is a combination of fitness and yoga movements that strengthen and improve cardiovascular endurance, core stability, and flexibility. The class enhances the benefits of traditional training movements while eliminating harsh impact, creating a high-energy workout on the water that is mindful of the human body.
BOGAFit’s floating mat creates is sturdy enough to climb and stand upon, tethered to the sides of the pool for stability, but its buoyancy upon the water upon the water adds just enough instability to challenge the body and mind to connect with the core to enhance stability and body awareness. That added effort of balance and mind-body connection strengthens the muscles and the cardiovascular system in a way not found on the floor of a weight room.
As fall settles in on the Gulf Coast, the BOGAFit program still holds strong at ZUMA. With a heated indoor-outdoor pool and elegant curtains to keep in the warmth of the space while also allowing fresh air to flow through, ZUMA provides opportunity for fitness seekers to connect with the water through physical activity throughout the cooler months at Alys Beach.
“The workout is really like none other,” says Patrick. “It is as perfect for families seeking a fun workout that they can do together as it is for skilled athletes cross training. BOGAFit really encourages and welcomes all fitness levels.”
Patrick believes in the power of human connection to water, not just for physical fitness development but also for our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. He quotes one of his favorite authors, Wallace J. Nichols, whose work Blue Mind has influenced Patrick’s own training philosophy and was a driving force behind this program’s implementation at ZUMA:
“Our wild waters provide vast cognitive, emotional, physical, psychological, social, and spiritual values for people from birth, through adolescence, adulthood, older age, and in death; wild waters provide a useful, widely available, and affordable range of treatments healthcare practitioners can incorporate into treatment plans.”
Through BOGAFit and through the opportunity that Alys Beach offers its visitors to connect with the natural waters around us, Patrick believes that we all can improve our bodies and our minds in one of the most inherent and natural ways.