Move It Monday: PiYo Edition

My love for working out and teaching crossed over a few years ago when I became a certified Spinning instructor. I have loved teaching Spinning classes for the last four years at various gyms, but last December I added another certification to my resume…that of a PiYo LIVE instructor.

So what is PiYo? Well the name starts to give it away…it is a sort of a cross between Pilates and Yoga…if you are familiar with either of those classes, you might recognize some of the moves. BUT, PiYo is NOT Pilates or Yoga…it’s completely its own. It’s a fast-paced, low impact workout that combines cardio and strength training while just using your body weight! It is perfect for someone like me who loves to do high-impact activities like running. Sometimes you just need to slow it down and stretch it out! Each song focuses on a different part of your body…lower body, full body fusion, core…we do it all in just an hour. I love PiYo because it is choreographed and the music is catchy so everyone in the class really gets into it! I wrote more about PiYo here, but today I want to share with you a few of my favorite poses from the round I am currently teaching.

– ONE –

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Yoga friends…do you recognize down dog? I love this pose because I can feel the stretch all the way down the back of my legs. My pose is getting better…it can be difficult to do down dog correctly. It’s so easy to put a ton of pressure on your wrists! I have been working on pushing my weight back and sharing that same technique with my class. We are all improving. 😉

Because PiYo likes to shake things up, check out this variation of down dog…

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…my elbows are bent and I’m doing a small push up in down dog position. My hands have moved into a triangle…thumbs and pointer fingers touching.

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Then I raise back up to regular down dog. We do these pushups in sets of 8. They are a killer. 🙂

– TWO –

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Can I hire one of you to be my photographer? 😉 Still in the same position, now I am in single leg down dog. This really tests your flexibility and balance!

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It feels great to go from single leg down dog to a low lunge. The low lunge stretches your hips, quads, and glutes, and kind of bringing your equilibrium back after being upside down in single leg down dog! At least that’s how it feels for me. I feel grounded here. 🙂

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You can make the low lunge even better by opening the arm and chest. Stretching all the muscles! In either of these low lunge poses, you have the option of dropping your other leg down so that you are on your knee. The point of the low lunge is simply to stretch…so if it feels better to have your other leg on the ground, that’s what you should do. The power of PiYo: making it work for you. 😉

– THREE –

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A table top position works our core. Why do you need a strong core? Well, a six pack would be nice;) But with strong abdominal muscles, you’re taking pressure off your lower back, making your posture better, and even making everyday tasks like lifting a lot easier. Right now in class, we are doing a lot of core work with each leg raised. We pulse the bent leg up, pull it down and up, bend it straight out and back in, and pulse the straight leg up. Once we have done all of that, it feels great to get into modified pigeon:

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Pigeon pose…or modified pigeon pose…is a really common stretch for runners. Lots of tension can build up in the hips, so this is a great way to loosen it all up.

– FOUR –

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Finally, we have modified mermaid. Here, you sit with your legs in a kind of “star position”. One leg is bent in front of you and the other leg is bent behind you. In PiYo, we plant one hand down on our side and reach up and over. This will help you stretch your hip flexors and lower back and really help you open your chest and shoulders.

So, what do you think of PiYo? Have you ever taken a class? Will you search for a class near you? You definitely should! Get your body moving this Monday 🙂

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