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Combining controlled postures and TCM with house music and energetic moves, this holistic workout spans genres and defies categorisation.

BodyART is an intense holistic and functional mind and body workout combining strength, flexibility, cardio and breathing. Based on the principles of yin and yang and the five elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine, bodyART training creates a dynamic link between active and passive movement, as well as the effects of tension and release. In other words, energetic moves are combined with controlled postures that incorporate strength, internal awareness and balance, giving the program a unique rhythm and flow.

bodyART was created in Germany by Robert Steinbacher, a former dancer, movement therapist and global group fitness presenter, back in 1994, but it has really gained momentum in recent years. Steinbacher and his team launched bodyART in Australia at FILEX and then trained the first team of bodyART instructors in 2015 (the second certification will be held in the next few weeks – see box below).

Practiced barefoot, bodyART has been described as a tribal, flowing yoga-inspired class set to cool house music. Classes incorporate a range of energies, from gentle breathing and mindfulness to the warming, uplifting moves of the deepWORK section.

So, how do the five key elements of Chinese Medicine manifest themselves in a bodyART class?

EARTH – ‘Arriving’ in class in child’s pose to peaceful music, allowing internal focus, calming breath, and gentle mobilisation of spine

WOOD – An awakening of the senses and body’s movement patterns, with gentle building of heat via movement, music and energy

FIRE – This popular section, set to earthy upbeat music, includes the warming deepWORK movement section that incorporates elements of dance, dynamic flowing sequences and heat. This is contrasted with the inclusion of controlled static postures that add strength and balance and a unique rhythm to the class. Dynamic and static strength training, therapy and yoga-inspired exercises are added within the flow.

METAL – Energy levels are settled and grounded with core work and active stretches

WATER – Mobility, flexibility and relaxation bring members to a peaceful completion of their bodyART experience.

The bodyART program works well as a stepping stone for Group Fitness Instructors wanting to segue into the mind body world – and, conversely, yoga and Pilates teachers are finding that it allows them to move and feel their bodies in a new way and expand their philosophies and teaching styles.



This year, bodyART Certification Level One Training is taking place in Melbourne between 31 March and 3 April, and in Sydney between 7 and 10 April. For details contact and go to


Lisa Westlake, a recently registered bodyART trainer said; ‘I’m not a yoga instructor or dancer, and yet this program gels with all my senses, and my class participants of all ages and fitness levels just love it. I have not felt this excited about learning and teaching a class style in a long, long time.’

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