High Intensity Interval Training [HIIT] workouts are popular among many fitness buffs who can’t afford the full hour to sweat but want to get the most out of their workouts. Today, many gyms and studios are fast embracing the HIIT method of training in classes to feed our cardio appetite, so when there was chance to trial a HIIT Yoga class with Sweatbox Yoga studio, I was as curious as an itching cat to find out how on world is that going to be? I almost bailed because I was still recovering from an injured finger that got slammed in between doors a couple of days ago, but my ego got the better of me and let’s just say, it got slammed too. Ouch!
It was an evening class and I arrived barely 5mins late, but warm-up was almost over. The class was in full momentum and it was a sweat breaker just trying to keep up with the pace and be on form in the beginning. I had to take child’s pose to re-connect with my breath before continuing with the flow. Like the traditional method of HIIT, HIIT Yoga follows a set of sequence that is repeated at a fast pace. The class starts with warm sun salutations to heat up the arms, core and legs, before advancing to more powerful poses for the real challenge. You can expect a lot of planks – chaturanga (low plank), vasisthasana (side plank), half-moon to work the core and obliques, leg lifts, lunges and jumps, all to get the heart rate up! While most HIIT routines work the fast twitching muscles (Type 1 muscle fibers), Yoga typically works the muscles that act as stabilizers (Type 2 muscle fibers). When you combine yoga and HIIT, you get muscle building and cardiovascular benefits in addition to strengthening the muscles that stabilises and help protect you.
Guat, the teacher is a real chili padi. She is a petite lady with an energy ball that fires the room. It was clear that everyone, even the strong and experienced yogis (men included), had to take a breather to keep up with her. The class ended on a much unusual light hearted note when Guat put us in pairs and told us to roll on each other for a body massage. LOL. The time for savasana was in its true sense of word – playing dead!
As a closet yogi, I highly recommend that you take extra caution if you are trying it out for the first time. If you are new to Yoga, please start with a beginner’s class first to learn the basics. HIIT is intense and the body will need time to properly heal itself. Keep HIIT session to a max of 3 classes a week because anything more is an overkill. You are in luck if the Yoga studio offers a HIIT class because what better way to balance your fitness routine with the power of HIIT and Yoga for restoration.Visit here to view HIIT Yoga classes at Sweatbox Yoga. Remember: Arrive early, do not miss warm-up and stay home if you have any injured body parts (ego not included).
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