Recommendations for Wii Fit Yoga Upgrades: The Nintendo Wii is Online, Why Not Upgrade Yoga Poses?

It will only be a matter of time before the Nintendo makers of the popular Wii Fit will come out with a Wii Yogii Game that is devoted solely to the practice of yoga on the Wii Balance Board and with the Wii Remote.

Recommendations:

  • Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels with modifications and safety notes. Including more verbal instruction about alignment and stretching from the trainer – in the style of a good yoga instructional video.
  • If there MUST be scoring, shift the monitoring of the work to appear after the pose is complete. Allow the user to practice the poses without the distraction of trying to keep the pink dot within the yellow circle. Show the shifts in center of gravity, etc following completion of the pose (the Wii Fit already does this with the Super Hula Hoop game and several others.)
  • Switch the circle directions with the breathing – have the circle expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. This is both more intuitive and more instructional, as it mirrors the abdomen in deep belly-breath.
  • Incorporate Routines. The most common complaint of most Wii Fit users is that they don’t know what to do next. It could be as subtle a change as highlighting the next recommended pose in green on the selector screen.
  • Please try to get the instructor to focus more on breathing and where the user should feel stretches, and less on “Posture”.
  • Please adjust the Downward-facing dog weight distribution to 60:40 rather than 50:50. Informal tests show that to keep 50 percent of the bodyweight on the hands negates the lengthening stretch through the lower back and reduces the hamstring stretch experienced by both advanced and beginner yoga students.

Additional poses:

In addition to any of the alternate pose recommendations made in other Wii Balance Board articles, here are additional recommendations regarding the yoga poses available that would be fun or interesting to try on a Wii:

  • First and foremost, the Mat Pose segment must include Savasana. Final Relaxation Pose is not optional!
  • Deep breathing could be seated at the beginning of class or routine, and could be done seated on the board in Sukhasana much like the Lotus Focus balance game.
  • Navasana or “Boat” pose is a great abdominal workout and could be fun to do sitting on the balance board.
  • Wii could incorporate a more complete Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation series of poses. Series B actually flows from what Wii has named a “Sun Salutation” into a Lunge on one leg, then Downward-facing Dog, Plank (which is currently hidden in Strength exercise section), Cobra, Downward-facing Dog, Lunge on the other leg, then back to “Sun Salutation”
  • More depth and breadth could be found by slowing down the “reps” and movement in the yoga-like poses that are buried in the Strength Exercise section, such as Plank without the push-up, Side-Arm Plank (without the rapid switching back and forth), Arrow (balancing on one knee and the opposite hand)

Wii users and Yogis alike will be keeping an eye out for these kinds of changes with Nintendo’s Wii games. Any change that will make these games safer and more enjoyable for users should be encouraged.

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