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Relaxation programs are becoming more prevalent in community recreation as the industry shifts toward a greater understanding of recovery and its importance to overall wellness.

In honor of National Relaxation Day, we examined a few relaxation programs from community rec centers around the U.S. Here’s how you can offer the same ones to your members:

Massage Therapy

In response to trending restorative fitness, the JCC of Youngstown renovated their massage therapy rooms, even adding a designated space in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms. To execute this offering, massages are required to be pre-booked so therapists are not required to be in the facility throughout the day, and are subcontracted instead.

Additionally, massage packages are offered as an add-on to memberships for an extra $15 a month, giving members a 30-minute massage every month. “They are basically getting 50% off the massages because our hope is they will sign up, which will result in a continual payment,” said Laura Weymer, the health and wellness director at the Youngstown JCC. “They have to schedule the massage every month, so if they miss one, they are still charged – it’s a ‘use it or lose it’ situation.”


The Burbank Community YMCA offers a multitude of yoga classes to their members. One of their most unique classes is Yoga Tune Up, which combines elements of yoga, conscious corrective exercise and self-massage. This unique twist can intrigue members looking for a variety, while also providing them with a genuine experience.

“Erin Hoien is the instructor, and she focuses on corrective yoga exercises in this class, taking into account the wear and tear we put on our bodies on a daily basis by sitting at a computer all day, or from being a weekend warrior,” said Lori Durbin, the director of healthy lifestyles at the Burbank Y. “Her class will leave you feeling less tight and stressed, and much more relaxed and comfortable in your own skin.”


The category of mind and body connects yoga and meditation, since they are often presented in the same class or offering. If you want to provide your members with a more unique relaxation offering, consider a specialized meditation class, such as the one offered at the JCC of Dallas, called “Sound Float Meditation.”

During this class, members float in a warm water pool while soft music plays above and below the water, through the use of a high-tech speaker. “They are feeling the vibration of the music and they are also, at the same time, hearing a meditation expert provide a meditation,” said Terri Aends, the group fitness director at the JCC of Dallas.

What relaxation programs does your community rec center offer? Are there any recovery services you think we should talk about? Let us know in the comments!

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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