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HIIT Yoga is the latest trend on the fitness scene. Personal trainer Sasha Green and yoga instructor Kate O’Reilly bring together two highly popular exercise forms – HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with yoga, to give you a new way to work out.
Let’s start on an honest note. Whilst I do enjoy working out regularly, I loath HIIT training and I haven’t done yoga in years. So when I agreed to head over to the launch of HIIT Yoga in September I was less than enthusiastic about this Wednesday night regimen.
What is apparent on arrival at the launch class is that Sasha and Kate both have a passion for what they do, personal training and yoga respectively. And until now there was nothing in the UK that combined HIIT and yoga. This is a tailored routine that they say will give you the best workout your body and mind will experience in one hour – apart from sex and cake, and maybe champagne in this writer’s opinion.
The class starts with 10 minutes of yoga (thank goodness – I cannot imagine starting with HIIT) to warm up and stretch out, followed by 10 minutes of HIIT, then back to yoga, back to HIIT and finished with yoga to cool down, calm down and stretch out thoroughly. During the first yoga session, I caught myself thinking that in fact this wasn’t too bad, I wasn’t wobbling as much as some others in some of the positions so was ready to take on HIIT.
Two minutes into Sasha’s first HIIT part I was a hot mess, I take it back – I wasn’t ready. But I soldiered on with everyone else, counting down the time in my head until each exercise finished. Eventually saviour Kate came back to the front of the class to lead us through tough (but still preferable) yoga positions. Repeat and by the end of the class I was on my back almost asleep, as we finished with a breathing exercise.
Despite my dramatic regaling, forgetting a much-needed water bottle and towel – yes you will sweat a lot, I survived and felt great. Something I hadn’t actually considered before the class. Regularly working out, I crave the flood of endorphins after a long run or pump from a hard gym workout. For some reason I had forgotten the logic that after pushing (and pulling) the body to its limits the calm, euphoric feeling that follows. I felt a lot more flexible than when I started the class, and a lot more positive (including about my new-found ability to do yoga).
Sasha and Kate say that this course offers mindfulness – something we’re all being told we need to do more of in our digital, work-driven lives. HIIT Yoga also provides strength both physically and mentally – the next day I could really feel my core had had a thorough workout. The regime of HIIT yoga ensures protection in the form of proper stretching, something that is all too easily forgotten.
The HIIT Yoga launch class attracted a range of yoga and fitness enthusiasts from the complete beginners (like me) to yoga-daily type. Both Sasha and Kate are very aware of the range of abilities in their class and do provide assistance wherever they see you struggling – apparently my neck wasn’t relaxed enough at one point, I wasn’t even aware it could relax. But I will be going back to find out how.
HIIT Yoga is currently run every Wednesday 8-9pm at the community-run Fresh Ground Coffee, 68 Battersea Rise, Clapham, London, SW11 1EQ.