Occasionally, there are minor turf wars between Pilates acolytes and yogis: they both use mats and have some focus on breath and stretching, but the goals are often different. Well, at least I have different goals when I do Pilates than when I do yoga. The yogis glare at the Pilates folk with their focus on core and their occasional use of weird rings and other props, while the Pilates people might consider yoga to be not as good a strength workout. Or something. Personally, I'm okay with both, though I really like Ashtanga yoga the best.
Recently, it's become a trend to blend different approaches to exercise. Can't pick between Pilates or yoga--take a PiYo class! I find the name a little ridiculous, but agree with it in spirit. (Another class offered is "Yolates". Ha!)
This week's new fitness class is PiYo, offered midday. (I really like these lunchtime classes. They get me out of my office for a longish walk, and I return so very hungry, thus adding enjoyment to my lunch. There's nothing like an appetite to make food taste even better). Taught by Stacey, the class is "a faster paced yoga class. Experience an athletic fusion of style, strength, and flexibility." Sure, whatever. Again, the class was small (six students), but my overall verdict was that it was enjoyable.
Initially, I was a little disgruntled because the music was a bit loud and the instructor wasn't giving clear instructions, but then she turned down the music and the instructions were much better. The class itself was a mix of yoga, Pilates, and some ballet moves--I could tell that the instructor was most likely a dancer, and at least one of the students was too. I definitely felt like I was working my muscles and stretching, which I liked. There were also lots of balancing poses, and since I need to work on balance, it added a good dimension to my workout.
I may have said it before, but I prefer strength exercises that don't use weights. So if you prefer lots of weights, this class probably wouldn't be one you'd like. I, however, enjoyed the opportunity to escape my office, get in a good walk, and get a light workout in at lunch. While I was a little sweaty, I wasn't dripping and dried off quickly so that I didn't have to worry about showering or anything before returning to work, making it an ideal midday workout.