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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

What is Piyo?

When I first tried Piyo a couple of years ago I was just toying with the idea of becoming an exercise instructor, and I wanted to try everything! I had to google 'what is Piyo', when I discovered that it was on offer locally (by Tara, who is totally awesome). I loved it, but then the sessions moved to a new venue and I drifted... 

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago when some of my clients asked me if I could teach Piyo, and a whole load of excited connections fired off in my brain: Could I..? Should I...? Dare I...? 

Short answer: yes! I've done my training with the gorgeous Abi (and that was a totally fun day!), so here we are! 

But, you might still be wondering 'but what is Piyo...?"

What Piyo Is:

Designed by Charlene Johnson of Beachbody, it is a low impact (no excess pressure on your joints) yet dynamic workout, building both strength and flexibility. It is choreographed, so every Piyo class will have familiar movements, plus a series of interchangeable tracks so the workout can be modified to suit you. 

What it is above all though is fantastic fun, set to a backdrop of great music. 

What Piyo Isn't:

Yoga. Piyo makes use of some yoga poses (some pretty loosely), and it does strengthen, stretch and improve balance, that's pretty much where the similarity ends. If you are a yoga fan then it's probably wise to accept that Piyo is a completely different animal and leave your asanas at the door! And (spoiler alert), there is no Savansana! (well, there might occasionally be in my classes depending on who comes). 

Equally it is not Pilates. It does employ a couple of the principles, but you wouldn't recognise much from a Pilates class.

It is also not just for women. I can see why we ladies like it, but there is absolutely no reason why a man would not benefit from all of the moves. Having said that, if you are thinking of taking your shy and inhibited man-friend who has no sense of timing and no enjoyment of moving rhythmically and no sense of humour, then... I can see that perhaps they might not be thrilled. 

What to expect at your Piyo class:

Piyo can be done in trainers, bare feet or non-slip yoga socks. A yoga mat is useful but not necessarily essential. If you're going to a class for the first time you should wear gym clothing (e.g. leggings and a supportive bra), plus light layers you can easily remove- as you would with any exercise class. Water is also essential- I have heard people say they have sweated in more in Piyo than in any of their high impact classes. A small towel might also be a good idea. 

You will start with a warm-up, end with a cool down, and between those might be sandwiched sections to work your lower body, your whole body at the same time, sections which are more flowy and dance-like, sections for your core... much will depend on your instructor, so if there is something you particularly want to improve I'm sure they'd love to hear about it. 

Leave me a comment and let me know how you enjoy Piyo. Or, use the contact button on the right hand side if you've got any questions that I can try to answer!