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The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas expands its cultural offerings with new fitness activity

By Staff | Jun 29, 2017

Kiakahi Maui classes are now available weekly through the Pu‘uhonua Cultural Center.

KAANAPALI – The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas has partnered with Kiakahi Maui to bring a new focus to wellness with Polynesian fitness and functional movement classes held outdoors at the resort.

This unique class focuses on innovative training based on Polynesian methodologies and involves exercises rooted in ancient Hawaiian culture. While each session varies slightly, guests can expect to participate in movement inspired by Polynesian dance, Hawaiian martial arts and Makahiki games, an ancient tradition in which competitors practice and display their skills and athleticism during a time of peace.

“Veiled within the beautiful displays of Polynesian dance, lua (Hawaiian martial arts) and traditional movement are functional teachings that can be applied to everyday life,” explained Kua Resinto, one of the founders of Kiakahi Maui.

“For generations, these practices have taught healthy patterns of living. Kiakahi is an approach that is aimed to radically transform and expand the sense of self by exploring and rediscovering patterns of movement and awareness that are within.”

In this hour-and-a-half-long experience, guests crawl, jump, balance and test their endurance with battle ropes. Makahiki games, such as ‘o’o ihe (spear throwing) and uma (arm wrestling), are among the exercises in the training.

Each participant also learns Hawaiian words, phrases and values and leaves with a deeper understanding of how to stay in tune with his or her body, mind and spirit. The classes are offered as an extension of the resort’s Pu’uhonua Cultural Center.

“In Hawaiian culture, we have a saying, ‘I ka wa mamua, i ka wa ma hope,’ which means our future is in the past,” said Makalapua Kanuha, the resort’s cultural director. “By knowing where we came from and instilling the mana’o, or wisdom, from our ancestors, we are able to look forward and create our future. The classes that Kiakahi offers ties in our heritage with modern exercises and science. The result is a unique firsthand experience of Polynesian culture.”

The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas is the exclusive venue for Kiakahi on the West Side of Maui. This exciting and memorable physical activity and cultural experience is offered for ages 12 and up every Thursday at 8 a.m. All fitness levels are welcome. The experience is $65 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (808) 667-3254 or by visiting an on-property concierge desk.