Fitness Classes I Teach

Happy Friday kids!  I can’t believe we are already looking at the end of July.  Next week is my LAST WEEK of Yoga Teacher Training!  Time sure has flown.

Now that I’ve truly gotten my feet wet in this new career of mine, I thought it would be nice to give a little insight into the classes I teach and how I prepare for them.

HIIT Core + Core Strength

This is the first class I taught, and it is definitely fun.  The ladies I get in the class so far are “regulars” and are super sweet!

Typically, I run this class like so:

  • Warm up- about 10 minutes, starting with cardio and working into abs
  • Abs section- either a timed HIIT set/tabata, or a more traditional strength set for about 10-15 minutes
  • Cardio/full body section- timed intervals for about 10 minutes
  • Cool down- yoga-inspired stretching for a little less than 10 minutes

Ashtanga Intermediate

Photo Credit: Mel Koossy, Shala Plus

Photo Credit: Mel Koossy, Shala Plus

The Ashtanga system is the focus of my Yoga Teacher Training.  My instructor is great, and she has a lot of faith in me.  I started teaching this class in my first week of training!

I follow the Ashtanga primary sequence for this class, but I skip some postures based on the group I get that evening and time constraints.  It is fun in a totally different way from HIIT, as it is much more quiet and mellow, but I find it extremely rewarding.

Yoga Sculpt


Earlier this week (or maybe it was over the weekend?  It’s all starting to blend together these days), I shared some ideas for fusing yoga and strength training.  This is really the focus of this class.  I take traditional yoga poses and modify them to include weights or a little more intense strengthening moves.

For last week’s class, I followed the Ashtanga sequence but modified postures.  This week, I am working with some of my own designs of flows.  Here is one that I put together today:

  • Samisthiti
  • Arms up
  • Fold forward
  • Look up and lengthen deadlift
  • Chataranga hold
  • Up Dog
  • Down Dog
  • High lunge, torso forward, grab weights
    • Lateral raise x5
    • Front raise x5
    • Rows x5
    • Bent-arm lateral raise x5
  • Up into full high/crescent lunge, tricep kickbacks x10
  • Windmill down to pushup, drop weights, hold chataranga
  • Up Dog
  • Down Dog
  • Repeat High Lunge with other leg
  • Jump through to stand
  • Look up and lengthen deadlift
  • Fold forward
  • All the way up, hands to sky
  • Samisthiti

Looked nearly identical to this yesterday…

Virtual high-five to the person who can guess which one in the Ashtanga photo is me!  (Little sisters need not guess, haha)

What is your favorite fitness class?




My First Group Fitness Classes

This week so far has been a big one!

I taught my first group fitness class and my first yoga class!

Pre-yoga teaching

Pre-yoga teaching

Monday night, I taught a HIIT class.  I struggled from the start with how to plan out this 45-minute class, because that is just too long for my usual HIIT workouts.  So, I structured it like this:

  • Warm-up (about 10 minutes)
  • Abs-only Tabata
  • HIIT (about 10 minutes)
  • Cool Down

This structure worked nicely.  I was wiped out, due to my fairly grueling yoga teacher training program that morning, but it was fun!

My sweaty self after an Ashtanga practice.

My sweaty self after an Ashtanga practice.

(I can’t believe I just posted my sweaty selfie on the Internet…)

The ladies there had really great attitudes, and one told me my class was exactly what she needed.  Win!

I’m talking with the owner to add some more classes to the schedule at this studio.  🙂

Last night, I taught an Ashtanga Yoga class.  Ashtanga is the focus of my yoga teacher training, and my instructor asked if I would sub for her class.

This one didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped, but I held my own considering I had only three days of Ashtanga under my belt by that point.  The ladies in the class knew some of the poses better than I do, which was a slight blow to the ego, but oh well.  🙂

Overall, I’m pumped that I finally got my feet wet in the field, and I’m looking forward to more!

Have you ever done Ashtanga Yoga?  What did you think?

What qualities do you really love in a group fitness instructor?

Can’ts into Cans Wednesday: Not Yet a “Can”

This week, Can’ts into Cans Wednesday is shifting focus a little into the future.

My new year’s resolution is to be able to do a full pull up.

It’s June 4th.  I’m not even close.

In previous years, the majority of my new year’s resolutions were running-related.  It was time for something different.

Not that the marathon wasn't an awesome resolution...

Not that the marathon wasn’t an awesome resolution…

I put a LOT of pressure on myself in the marathon training process.  So, I thought a switch would be nice.  This way, I could still work toward a fitness goal.  Plus, more muscle tone in my arms certainly wouldn’t hurt how I’ll look in a wedding dress.

At the time, I was/am really in to a blog called The 12 Minute Athlete.  Here, Krista posts great HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts.  HIIT workouts involve short bursts of all-out effort, with a small period of rest in between.  Most of her workouts are 12 minutes long (hence the name), with 18 intervals of 30 seconds work and 10 seconds rest.

For example, today, I did Krista’s Minimal Equipment Apartment Ready HIIT Workout.  It involved 30/10 intervals of:

  • Air Squats
  • Dive Bomber Push Ups
  • Side Lunges
  • Pike Push Ups
  • Medicine Ball Twists
  • Plank Get Ups

Let me tell you, the back to back medicine ball twists and plank was tough on my abs.  But it was good stuff.

Thumbs up!

Thumbs up!

Anyway, back to new years.  HIIT workouts, particularly Krista’s, made a huge difference in my confidence after not being able to run much anymore with my injury.  This workouts definitely gave me my endorphin fix, and I started to be able to do things I didn’t think I could do before, like 30 seconds of full push-ups!

Many of the workouts on 12 Minute Athlete involve variations of the pull-up, but I always replaced them with one of the great modifications that Krista posts.  Pull-ups were just too intimidating for me.

Then I tried them on the assisted pull-up machine at the gym.  Hmmm…not as bad as I thought.

Soon enough, I was reading up on how to do one and decided to make it my plan.

Here I am in June, and I feel like I have just plateaued.  I still have to do them jumping, and even that way I can only get in a few good ones before I can’t get my chin up high enough.  I’m kind of stumped.

Any advice for how I can make this pull-up happen?

Have you done HIIT workouts?  What do you think?

Are you still working on any new year’s resolutions?