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Why I Combined HIIT and Yoga

You're probably thinking: HIIT (high intensity interval training) & yoga don't make any sense together. HIIT is about the fire and the burn, and yoga is about the ease and the breath. Why would someone combine them?

I hear you. They DO sound like an odd couple, don't they?

But as mismatched as those two workouts sound, think about it: they're really the ultimate power couple, with just enough in common (breathing = necessary) and just the right diversity of strengths to balance each other out.

Yoga brings you mobility, ease, and recovery. HIIT brings you intensity, strength, and efficiency.

Who doesn't want all of that 👆 in one workout?

In other words, HIIT and yoga are more of a Bennifer than a failed episode of Wife Swap.

 

HIIT Yoga is a perfect marriage of HIIT and yoga

We take the benefits of yoga—mobility, mindfulness, and breath work—and combine it with the benefits of HIIT—intensity, endurance, and strength—for an all-in-one workout that builds well-rounded, powerful athletes.

Here are the five essential components of a HIIT & Flow class.

It's a workout that is designed for people who want to build strength, endurance, and mobility in a short amount of time. It's for people who are trying to maximize their training time for maximum efficiency.

Efficiency is one of the main reasons I developed HIIT & Flow in the first place.

Let me take you on a trip down memory lane, back to 2014 when I really started developing this workout...

 

How HIIT Yoga, or HIIT & Flow, came to be

I was training for my first 100 mile race while also planning my wedding and working 80 hour weeks at my failing startup.

Even though I like to be too busy all the time, that time, it really was too much. I was stretched too thin, and it showed:

  • My startup failed.
  • I DNFed (didn't finish) at mile 76 during my first 100 mile attempt.

Luckily, my marriage is still going strong. 😅

And luckily, that season of failure and change led to some serious growth. (Growth always happens when it hurts, right?)

During those stressful months, I'd sneak down to the basement of our office and experiment with HIIT workouts on gliders. I was trying desperately to find a way to train for a race that terrified me while I was working way too many hours in the face of existential dread.*

I didn't have time for full days on the trail, logging long runs multiple times a week, or spending hours at the gym. I needed something that I could squeeze in between investor meetings and dress fittings. I needed something I could do even in the tiny floor space of our office, and something I didn't need a ton of equipment for (if you've ever been on a San Francisco train or bus at rush hour, you know).

What I was after was a way to build strength and cardio without spending a million hours working at it.

So I took what I loved from yoga: its unparalleled capacity for mobility, breathwork, and mindfulness, and I took what I needed from HIIT workouts: efficiency, V02 max building, and cardio-strength multitasking. And then I added gliders to help me build stability, identify my own weaknesses and asymmetries, and generally get stronger all around.

 

HIIT Yoga training worked

I knew how to approach all the things I wanted to accomplish from a place of confidence and power instead of a place of scarcity and fear.

I didn't finish that first 100 mile attempt, but as Alyse always reminds me, there is no failure in running "only" 76 miles. And I kept working at developing what I was calling HIIT Yoga—what would become HIIT & Flow—and I kept working on my training plan and everything else that goes into being 100-mile-ready.

You don't hear me talk about this often because, honestly, it's not really about the mileage (more about that below). But I have now finished 36 ultramarathons, and each time I tackle a tougher course, and each time I feel stronger.

Because once I figured out my training, my nutrition, my pacers—once I really nailed the workout I didn't even realize I was developing back in that dank office basement in 2013—I knew how to approach all the things I wanted to accomplish from a place of confidence and power instead of a place of scarcity and fear.

If you're tuning out because you're not going to run 100 miles, ever, good for you. But this approach is not just for ultra marathoners; this is also about anyone who dares to push their limits and prove themselves capable for any kind of adventure or effort.

Alyse used HIIT & Flow to train for a Grand Canyon backpacking trip. Ruby used it to train for her first ever half marathon. Nic used HIIT & Flow to cross-train for surfing.

Back to the mileage bit, or why it's not really about the mileage for me.

Yoga was the catalyst for my healing. (Give this podcast episode a listen for why and how). I found myself setting aside the anger I'd been cultivating and unleashing for so many years, and I found myself with a space to fill. A chance to redefine who I was and how I showed up in the world.

 

HIIT Yoga changed the way I train and the way I show up

It's about proving myself capable, of pushing my limits, and finding and redefining my edge, over and over again.

And I didn't know it at the time, but HIIT yoga, or HIIT & Flow, would help me fill that openness and find my voice in new and positive ways.

Developing HIIT & Flow and finding my confidence on the trails helped me tap into my voice and my power. So, yes, while I work really hard at running 100 mile races, it's not really about the race. It's about proving myself capable, of pushing my limits, and finding and redefining my edge, over and over again. That's what ultrarunning and HIIT & Flow have empowered me to do.

And since I'm sure I still have some skeptics out there, let me tell you: I hear it all the time from community members who graduate from our HIIT yoga training: what they gain is not really about V02 max or glute strength. It's not about how many pushups they can do. It is about is finding your voice and your power.

 

And on the strictly physical side, it's about being conditioned to the point where you can rise to any challenge you set for yourself with confidence.

That's why leading HIIT yoga trainings is literally my favorite thing to do. HIIT & Flow is where I feel most tapped into my power, because it's given me so much—from core strength to mental endurance—and there is no better high than opening that door for my community to step through.

If you're looking for personal growth, if you're looking for physical and mental challenge, if you're looking to unleash or free the voice and the power inside of you, I can't tell you how to get there.

But I can tell you that HIIT yoga training was my path for tapping into all of those possibilities and more, and it's the best thing ever when I get to work with people on their own journeys.

We've got a new cohort of HIIT & Flow training starting, and I'd love to walk beside you as you unleash your own power.

Get more info and sign up here.

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