PiYo, the class that combines pilates and yoga

The Scotsman’s resident spa spy tries out a PiYo class in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge

PiYo is a combination of yoga and pilates. Picture: Contributed
PiYo is a combination of yoga and pilates. Picture: Contributed
PiYo is a combination of yoga and pilates. Picture: Contributed

The treatment

A 45 minute PiYo class with Edinburgh Leisure’s gyms. I visited Glenogle (Glenogle Road, Stockbridge, 0131-343 6376, www.edinburghleisure.co.uk). Full price admission £7.20, £5.40 if you own a Discount Card, membership prices vary and start from £30.50 a month (plus £35 membership fee).

Why go?

Can’t choose between yoga or pilates? Then try PiYo. It sounds like a Korean hip-hop star, but is a new class that fuses elements of yoga and pilates, speeds them up and chucks in a bit of interval training. It’s the creation of the people behind popular fitness session Insanity, but, in contrast, PiYo is low impact, so you won’t leave with shin splints.

Our spy says

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I am so bored of my exercise routine. I’ve had nearly a decade of doing a mixture of the Les Mills classes, BodyBalance and BodyCombat, plus cycling to work. Occasionally I’ll have a swim, but otherwise, it’s predictably dull. As I used to do pilates and love the odd spot of yoga, PiYo sounded fun, if, perhaps, a bit daft and not one for purists.

It consists of short, fast and repetitive routines. As with many exercise classes, the inaugural one involves a lot of confusion as you try to master the moves. This was our instructor’s first time too, so she was almost as befuddled as we were.

The first routine started with a warm up featuring three moves, which were repeated at various speeds. There was a stretch with the arm up to the side, a single leg squat, and something that looked like a crab dancing the fandango, So far, not too strenuous, but then it ramped up.

There were more squats, and some moves that look as if you’re speed skating. At one point it went a bit Zumba, as we were making figures of eight with our fists clamped together.

One of the hardest sections involves a pilates side plank with leg lifts. And, as in yoga, there are quite a few downward and one-legged dogs, but they aren’t held for long and there’s no chat about breathing.

We finish with seated half twists and some good stretches.

The results

I feel rather invigorated. The class was slightly chaotic, as the speed of PiYo is something that takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s injected some fun into my jaded old regime.

Rating: 18/20