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New type of boot camp starts with tranquility

January 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
"Boot camp" is a common term for a hard-core workout that offers all kinds of drills, cardio bursts and strength training, but not many start with reflection like in the War and Peace Workout. "We begin quietly with reflection and an intention, and then we begin with exercise that connects us with the breath all the way through, and we come out the gates running, and then we finish with deep meditation and stretching," said Brian Shiers, creator of the War and Peace workout.

Shiers has spent more than 17 years practicing mindful meditation and incorporating it into his training programs, as he realizes the importance and the challenges of the mind body connection

"Because you can't leave work and your family and your life outside just because you come into the room. What I want you to do instead of checking out is check in," he said.

Shiers feels that you should practice breathing and being centered well beyond your time on a yoga mat. He feels that if you can move beyond the cool down, you'll do so much better in everyday life.

"I want you to come in, see where your body is, see where your head is at and ask yourself what you want from this workout," Shiers said.

Then it's the war portion, which comes full force, including boxing, agility work, all kinds of balance checks, getting that body in fighting mode head to toe.

After the battle, Shiers gets peace working for you once more.

"The peace part is the cherry on top. You just come in, you just exhaust your body and then you lay there and you just meditate on what you just did, let it go and go back and tackle your day," said Britt George, a War and Peace student.

Shiers runs the fitness program at the Toluca Lake Tennis Club and Sports Center on Monday nights, Wednesdays at noon and Friday mornings. The workout is open to the public, with a $20 drop-in fee, but like many clubs, there are class passes which are more economical.