What is PiYo?

PiYoAlthough I had heard of it before, I had no idea what PiYo was until I started doing research for this article. PiYo is a no-impact fitness program developed by Beachbody. They market it as a “Pilates-Yoga inspired workout.”

Music is an integral part of the PiYo experience. As you flow from one pose to the next, music helps keep you moving and gets you breathing. Imagine a dance class where you do Pilates and yoga instead of actual dancing.

This is normally where I share an experience about attending the class. Since I have never been to a PiYo class, I’ve asked for help from my friends Carolyn Bangerter and Brandi Sharp. Both of them are certified PiYo teachers.

Carolyn Bangerter’s perspective

Carolyn says: “PiYo is a unique combination of Pilates and Yoga inspired moves. From beginning to end you are moving, stretching and flowing from one pose to the next. Sometimes you pick up the pace and other times you get to enjoy the stretch.

“Imagine, if you can, doing Yoga and Pilates in a Zumba class. Don’t focus on the dancing part, but, in PiYo we move with the music. This flow allows you to find that ever important connection between your breath, body and mind. And of course you get the same health benefits, such as flexibility and strength. Oh, and you will SWEAT!”

Brandi Sharp’s perspective

Brandi¬†adds: “PiYo is a blend of Pilates and Yoga. It’s a fusion that is choreographed. It’s a very athletic class that is considered advanced strength. We use our body weight as our resistance. This includes planks, and doing yoga poses that turn into a isolated Pilate move. The class moves very swiftly, but there is no impact. No jumping…or lifting. All body resistance.

“The class is targeted to some one who is very motivated by music, who enjoys a difficult workout that does not include impact on joints or tissues that are sensitive to impact. In PiYo, we do not focus on form. The certification is centered around choreography and understanding the flow of the Yoga pose into the isolated movement along with the tempo of the music!

“People get fooled by the name. They come into class and are ready for Yoga and get shocked by the choreography and the difficulty of the isolated movements. The music is a vital component of the class.”

PiYo workout video

When you’re looking for a video, search and YouTube shall provide! Here is a 25-minute workout to give you a sample. You may want to have a sweat towel nearby because this workout moves!

Remember, it is up to you to be responsible for your form and health. If something feels wrong, stop. Certainly, do not do this video if you’re not sure if you doctor would recommend it. Be safe.

Do you do PiYo? What do you think? How does it compare to a traditional Pilates mat or yoga class? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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