This article was first published here.
The city is bursting with health clubs and fitness studios fighting for your attention, helping you with new and innovative ways to tone your tummy (and your thighs and arms). While these fitness brands swear to revolutionise the way you work out, it all boils down to whether you want to see a change in yourself. Not everyone is made for the gym, and that is completely okay. Have you thought of exploring avenues like yoga, zumba, running or even taking up your favourite sport? While you break down your options, allow us to introduce to you a new form of workout, a fun fitness regimen that will leave you with great results. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Bokwa!
At the Pune International Sports Expo 2016 that was recently held at Agricultural Grounds, we caught up with Paul Mavi, founder of Bokwa. While we could only get a few minutes of his time, the concept had us interested and we got in touch with his team here in Pune to know more. Excerpts from the interview with Hema Ankaraju, Bokwa Education Specialist Trainer in Pune…
Bokwa is a dance workout. How is it different from Zumba? What makes it so special?
Bokwa is a combination of BO-boxing and KWA-Kwaito. The idea was incepted by international fitness personality Paul Mavi, who started off as a choreographer before he realised his passion for Bokwa. Over a period of eight years, Paul went on to become a leading fitness instructor in Los Angeles, and has successfully spread the movement to 58 other countries. Paul believed that if “you can move, you can spell, you can Bokwa!”
Bokwa participants draw letters and numbers with their feet while performing an intense cardio workout routine. In this workout, each step is taught using American and Bokwa hand sign language, thus making it the only fitness programme in the world taught with a bespoke hand sign language (a combination of letters, numbers and words forming the dance instruction). This means even the hearing impaired community can dance to our tunes!
Zumba requires choreography while in Bokwa one can carry out this step without any personal assistance once one learns the alphabets. Bokwa does not require you to count steps, unlike the traditional eight counts followed by most dance fitness programs.
How has India reacted to Bokwa?
In the span of less than 10 months we have created approximately 350 instructors in India. The demand for Bokwa has increased in India as we see the demand for a Bowka instructor in every fitness class in most gyms. Even the existing instructors want to upgrade themselves to the next level. We hold certifications almost every other week in different parts of the country.
What are the health benefits of Bokwa?
Apart from burning up to 1,200 calories (in one session) and helping you lose weight, it promises to enhance muscular strength, flexibility and cardio respiratory endurance. The best part is since there is a high-impact as well as a low-impact workout option available in this form, anybody can take it up. It also helps you de-stress and focuses on self-expression and confidence. In short, Bokwa helps you use the “right side of the brain”.
How has Pune treated Bokwa? Where can I find this in Pune?
There is a lot of youth in the city, and we have noticed that the new generation takes their fitness seriously. This has helped us launch Bokwa successfully here. We have conducted master-classes at Solaris clubs across Pune and have had the support of Talwalkar’s and the PSA team. Our Bokwa Ambassador, Sanoj Durge, who holds almost 100 Bokwa batches across the city, has helped us to spread the word in the city by hosting certifications and master classes. The recent Pune International Sports Expo has also given us a good platform to reach out to number of people in Pune. Whoever came to the expo did the dance with us and we were pleased to see the curiosity. We can safely say that Bowka is here to stay!