Saturday, 18 July 2015

Yoga for fitness

Being a PT and a keen yogi I was intrigued by a teacher training course I came across – Freestyle Fitness Yoga (FFY)

Wanting to further my journey as a yoga instructor, but not being able to make time for a 200 hour course in India I thought I’d give it a try :) One day I will make it to the birthplace of yoga, too many friends getting married this year!

FFY claims to give you the skills to teach a yoga based workout, but you must already hold a fitness qualification, having high knowledge of how the body works…. So lets go!

Jayne Nicholls, the creator behind it is what I’d describe as a little warrior. A tiny, but powerful lady, she immediately makes you want to sit up and listen! And so I did, and one of the first things she said is she likes the word ‘flex’ so we were off to a good start!
The context of this was to have your joints soft and flexible, not bent, so you can move in a fluid way. Other teaching points like breathing in on upwards moves and out on downwards moves were like traditional yoga, but opposite to pilates. So it was interesting to see a couple of pilates instructors on the course – maybe they saw this as a step closer to the other side, but without getting too close, or maybe not….
Day one consisted of an introduction & overview, teaching of a warm up -including mobilising joints, managing body weight and sun salutations. We then went through the different standing postures of the class, including warriors, with the teaching points, finishing with some mat work and stretches

As well as some pre-course work, and advising us to read up on and practice as much yoga/body balance a possible, there was homework to go over what we’d learnt and be ready  to go straight into a class and teach one tomorrow! There was also a dedicated YouTube channel which helped with recapping :) 

Well I was aching all over the morning after – just highlights the deprived, unused muscles! The second day as promised started with a demo of the class, followed by the theory behind FFY. We looked at range of motion & compression/tension, touching on some advanced sequences for FFY, like binding & bridging. The afternoon comprised of the practical & theory exams which I’m happy to say I passed (with flying colours, I’m sure Jayne will agree ;) I think a few were asked to come back a later date when they could show more competency which I think can only be a good thing, meaning she wasn’t just
passing everyone who had paid for the course

The general feel of FFY in the yoga world was that the traditional yogis may not agree with this kind of class/teaching – there are no ‘nice’ stretches, or positions where you could stay all day – it is more of a workout where you will experience DOMS a day or 2 after – and I can vouch for that! It doesn’t tap into the spiritual, chanting side of yoga. Some people may not be bothered by this, as they do yoga solely for physical reasons. I believe in this fitness side of it but also think yoga is great for the mind. All in all, this was a great course which I took a lot from and have already applied to my style of teaching.


Group X training do a great range of fitness based courses. I’m now considering the pre & post natal Level 3 course – well all my friends are getting married, so surely pregnancy is next on the agenda?!


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