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SPRING 2008 | Palm Springs Pilates Weekend

SPRING 2008 | Palm Springs Pilates Weekend

Gay health retreats are a surprisingly rare species, but Dirk Shafer's brand-new Pilates desert escape especially stands out.

Not only do you get two certified instructors who give personal attention to a small group of a dozen or so participants, but you also dine on fresh, health-conscious meals prepared by a world-class chef, and you slumber in lush accommodations at the upscale renovated East Canyon Hotel + Spa, Palm Springs' only gay spa hotel -- all starting at the rate of $800 per person for an entire weekend. Daily guided fat-burning hikes in the spectacular San Jacinto Mountains are thrown in as well. The first retreat is June 7–8, with further dates to be announced soon.

Better known as the writer-director of the films "Man of the Year" and "Circuit", Dirk was "Playgirl" magazine's 1992ß Man of the Year before he came out. He has devoted much of his life to fitness instruction and has been a Pilates instructor for over three years. He swears it's the best all-round physical program he's done.

"I found Pilates the most interesting discipline out there, and I've dabbled in them all," he says. "It's always changing and evolving. Pilates can integrate itself into every sport -- you can utilize it while shopping, swimming, whatever. I've seen guys with amazing six-pack abs with no core strength at all, and the advantage to having core strength is that you can use it for the rest of life, not just on the beach for the summer. It helps your balance and spine health. It just really centers and balances your entire body."

And what about Pilates novices? "Anyone can do the classes. The whole thing about Pilates is connecting your mind to your body. We're not trying to prepare you for a triathlon or to win a gold medal; we just teach you ways to get to know your body and get it to function the best in everyday life," explains the handsome yet down-to-earth Oklahoman. "This isn't a hard-core boot camp. You can go out and have drinks at the local gay bars at night."

For more info call 323-810-1979 or

East Canyon Hotel + Spa

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