When it comes to bending myself into a yoga pretzel to meditative music and a soft, calming voice, I can’t help but think, I could be taking a nap right now.
I keep trying to make yoga something I love, since flexibility is a key factor in overall physical health, but good lord it’s boring. So, between trying to work flexibility routines into my workouts and wanting to try new things, I decided to try PiYo – a workout that combines Pilates, Yoga, and movement. It’s my new favorite at-home sweat therapy for several reasons.
The trainer doesn’t suck. In fact, she’s pretty badass. If you’ve ever tried an at-home workout with DVDs or online videos, you know that if you can’t stand the trainer leading the routine, you’re most likely never doing that workout again, even if it’s a good workout. Chalene Johnson, the primary PiYo trainer, does a great job of being motivating, encouraging, and fun with this “I’m going to kick your ass, but you won’t realize it until you’re done” sort of attitude.
It doesn’t make you jump. For whatever reason, I hate jumping exercises – maybe because they wear me out so quickly, which is part of why they’re so effective, I guess. Still, I hate them. With PiYo, I’m moving the whole time without jumping around like a moron. Win.
The stretches feel amazing. Yoga is integrated into almost every movement you do, so while you’re getting a kickass workout, you’re also stretching out your muscles and improving your flexibility. And since your body is all warmed up – pretty much from the get-go – you feel the stretch without hating your life the entire time you’re doing it.
It really makes you sweat. Though I haven’t done all of the routines, there are specific workouts called “Sweat” and “Drench.” Considering my last “Sweat” workout felt more like “Drench,” I know that the 30-45 minutes I dedicate to PiYo is going to leave me feeling proud, accomplished, and badass. True, there are sculpting routines that don’t have quite the same effect in this sense, but by the end I feel extra strong, so it’s OK.
All you need is a yoga mat (if you want). Kickboxing is far and away one of my favorite workouts, but if you want the full experience, you need either a lot of equipment, or a gym membership. (9Round is my home away from home.) With PiYo, I lay out my yoga mat, and I’m good to go. Easy. If you don’t have one, you can still do the workout.
I know this mostly reads like a plug for PiYo, but behind all that is the message that if you love what you’re doing, commitment to it is that much easier. Because of all the reasons I enjoy PiYo, it’s going to stay a part of my routine without being the be-all, end-all. The balance of an at-home workout with the support of the 9Round community gives me this well-rounded approach to physical fitness that keeps things interesting. It took me a long time to get to this point, but now that I have, I’m stoked!