PiYo is dynamic balance, strength and flexibility at it’s finest! Click here for full class schedule!
Good news! Beginning on November 7, 2012, I will have four new PiYo classes
at the brand new Snap Fitness ABQ Tramway club located at:
1530 Tramway Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112
Class times will be as follows:
6:00am to 7:00am
6:00pm to 7:00pm
9:00am to 10:00am
9:00am to 10:00am
For a complete listing of all my classes, please see my PiYo Class Schedule
I’ve been really blessed to work with so many great health clubs who support me in my endeavors. Some of you may not realize that I’ve been teaching PiYo since December of 2010, but it was always a casual thing until a few months ago when I decided to get serious about it. Once I changed my mindset, doors began to open and teaching opportunities presented themselves in abundance. One of my biggest supporters has been Snap Fitness. I currently teach four regular weekly classes at the ABQ Unser club and now they are opening a new gym on Tramway! The ABQ Tramway club is slated to open in November and is located at Tramway and Indian School. I am so excited to bring PiYo to the east side of town!
Last week I decided to drop in to check out the new digs and take some photos to document the progress on the construction. Some exciting features of the ABQ Tramway club include the huge 2nd floor outdoor patio (think we’re gonna have PiYo On The Patio? You know it!!!), large GroupX room, and locker rooms with showers! You have to use your imagination a little bit as the construction is still very much underway but in a few short weeks this will be a brand new, uber plush, Snap Fitness center!
Everyday you have a choice. Is today the day you confront an obstacle and give yourself more freedom or is today the day you accept the obstacle as a limitation? Which day is it?
I’ve been avoiding inversions for a long time. One can get pretty far without ever having to stand on their head. In fact, it seems that most people are perfectly happy to remain right side up so the likelihood of being called out is pretty low. Why do I care? It’s not like I think that standing on my head is going to fix my broken relationships or end world hunger. No, probably not. It’s a personal reason. I care because I’m afraid of falling on my back. I’m afraid to fall, knock the wind out of my lungs and lay on the floor gasping for air like a sad fish. Oh god, what if someone saw that happen? Or worse, what if I couldn’t get up and no one was there? Best to leave it alone. That was my brilliant solution. Just leave it alone.
Just leave it alone?
You accept that?
No, not anymore.
I call bullshit,
Ok then, so now what? I took inventory of my friends, in search of someone with a more advanced skill set than myself, and that lead me straight to Ms. Katja Lauterstein. She’s a 500+ hour certified yoga instructor. If anyone can get me going on this, it’s her. And guess what? In under an hour, with proper instruction, I performed my first ever unassisted headstand!
Next up, hand stand!
This one proved to be exponentially more challenging but at least now I believe that it can be done.
Belief is half the battle.
I went out looking for the forest but all I found were 10,000 trees. I mean seriously, folks, 10,000 trees. I try to stay focused but metamorphosis is complicated and I am reminded again and again of something the great Price Pritchett said in his book, you2 (that’s “You Squared” not “U2”). He said quit trying harder.
Earlier this week someone complained to the manager of one of the clubs I teach at that my class is “not normal yoga”. I had a feeling that something was up when she told me the same thing in her best derisive tone about 5 minutes before rolling up her mat and walking out. So, she tells my manager “DeAnna’s class is not normal yoga” and he tells her, “No shit, genius.” and that’s why we get along.
Is PiYo like “normal” yoga? Nooooooo, that’s why it’s called PiYo and not yoga.
Which brings me to my next point, to say that this or that is “not normal yoga” implies to me that her definition of yoga evidently differs from mine, and maybe from yours too. I’m not into boundaries and boxes, I am unconcerned with uniforms and name tags.
This thing that I teach, this PiYo is, in fact, only supposed to resemble yoga. It is designed for the mainstream, the description in the packaging clearly states that PiYo is a non-spiritual approach to mind/body exercise. Now, don’t get all pee-pee-hearted with me for saying this but I have to call bullshit on that one. There is no such thing as a non-spiritual approach, because we’re not robots. All of us who are brave and/or crazy enough to put ourselves out there as teachers do so with an approach that reflects our personal beliefs. All of our participants who drag themselves out of bed and down to the gym first thing in the morning do so because of a belief system that tells them it’s worth while. The notion of a non-spiritual approach is a poison apple.
I would like to throw two ideas out on the table: one, that trying harder only pays off if you are employing the most effective method and, two, that your physical practice is only as strong as your mental practice can support.
I’ve written about this topic before and here we go again. Isn’t yoga supposed to be a metaphor for life? If so, then what makes it yoga? Is it being barefoot? Is it Lulu Lemon pants? Is it dim lights? Blocks, straps and blankets? Chanty music? If I speak to you in my best monotonous drone, is it yoga now? What if you have all of these things and it still isn’t or what if you have none of them and it is? Is yoga an outfit and a set of poses? Uh-oh, what if it’s not? What if it’s not any of those things because what it actually is is a mental practice? Calm breath, focused, observant and responsive state of mind: this is what we seek to achieve and the appearances of yoga are just that; appearances. Stay with me now, what if you can take this “yoga mindset” into any physical practice? I propose to you that a good way to build the yoga mindset muscle is to push the limits of your physical practice. Anyone can stay calm and focused while sitting on the floor in a quiet room but what about after transitioning from crescent to warrior 3 eight times in a row? How about when you’re late and stuck in traffic? What about when your plans crash and burn? How calm are you now? What are the voices saying to you now? Are they still calm, do they say things like “Today I do my personal best. I stay calm and observe, but do not cling to, the emotions that I experience” or do they start saying things like “I’m not as skinny as that girl over there. I have terrible balance! I suck at this! I’m too incompetent to be here!” Suddenly, we’re not in Kansas anymore but did the workout cease being yoga or did letting go of the yoga mindset cause us to fall into a chaotic state? Think about that. Forcing the body into challenging poses really means nothing, accomplishes nothing, without the support of the internal condition. The physical practice of yoga, PiYo, Turbo Kick, Hip Hop Hustle or any workout provides a safe environment to practice the mindset with which you will approach all situations. You can go as far down this rabbit hole as you like but I’m just going to say this: the body responds to what the mind tells it and the mind speaks loudest in the voice it uses the most. Do you come to yoga to work on developing your negative self image? Go to the gym to cultivate angry thoughts? Turn everything into an imaginary competition that can never be won? Certainly that isn’t yoga, but what can you expect to change on the outside without first getting a grip on what happens on the inside? The outside mirrors the inside and never the other way around. If you want to make exponential progress in your physical practice then start by conditioning the mental practice to support working on a higher plane.
I am re-reading this after having just got off the phone with my PR agent. Without provocation or even knowing what I was working on today he said, “you have to condition yourself to operate on a higher plane.”
When the universe offers free advice, listen.
You can’t see the forest from the ground.
The other day I was checking out my site stats and noticed that someone found my website by performing a Google search on the question “Is PiYo different than yoga?”
I’m a big fan of yoga. I studied and practiced it for years prior to discovering PiYo. I love them both but they are not the same. On the other hand, I love them both and they are not different.
If there is any confusion, it lies in the perception, in the expectation of what a mind/body workout is.
This scenario is for my fellow PiYo instructors. You have a new student who comes in the door and says, “I’m here for yoga”. You say, “Hello, and welcome to PiYo!” They repeat, “I’m here for yoga.” You say, “this is PiYo.” They say, “the schedule says this is yoga.” You smile and wonder if they actually read the schedule because your class is clearly labeled “PiYo.”
Conflict occurs when expectations don’t match reality. I welcome all students to my class but when the conversation starts this way, I get a little worried inside because I infer from both their tone and reactions that they were expecting something different. Most of the time that convo translates loosely to “I’m not here for party music and sweat.”
Is PiYo different than yoga? In my opinion, PiYo is just one of the numerous evolutionary variances in what has become known as the mind/body workout. Being present in the body and performing actions with specific intention is all that is required for this type of experience. PiYo moves at a fluid pace; firing up considerable heat in the body, burning fat, building muscle, focusing attention and intention, so on the mat as in life. It’s about the flow, it’s about persistent effort, it’s about working through personal barriers, and expanding belief in what is possible. Is this not a meditation?
If you’re looking for a concise explanation of what PiYo is: PiYo is a high energy, low impact, total body fitness routine based on the principals of yoga and Pilates. I would describe it as fast power yoga. My friends call it The killer of “mom jeans”. What to expect? Energetic environment, fun music, lots of sweating, and results!
Sound like your kind of fun? See my schedule for a full listing of class times and locations.
PiYo is a journey, are you ready?
This is true in all professions: sometimes we get so busy working that we don’t make time for learning. It’s vital to remember that your current skill set can only take you so far and learning is an essential key to moving forward. Next month I’m taking advantage of two excellent opportunities for professional development.
September 9, 2012:
PiYo Instructor/Pro Training and Workshop
Together Strong in Santa Fe, NM
September 25, 2012
Power Yoga workshop with Bryan Kest
Yoga Junction in Louisville, CO
This train is just getting started!