Other than middle school track meets and a 5k I ran with #sweatpink in Seattle last year, I’m very new to the racing world and therefore very new to the training for a race world. I venture out on weekly runs with our Flex & Flow Run Club in Portland, OR, but other than Saturday morning runs, my run schedule/plan is non-existent. I run for the fun of it, the run dates and chats, and the way I feel after all the miles (and the coffee, of course).
With our upcoming Empower Race Series, I’ve been more curious about structuring a plan so I can run faster, longer, and be prepared to take my recreational running one step farther into the race zone.
One thing I do know that’s helped me run a faster and farther with the Flex & Flow runners is the strength training classes at Flex & Flow, and specifically the Flex & Flow HIIT Yoga classes.
Can you give us a brief history behind your signature HIIT yoga workout? When/where did you start? What was the inspiration behind it?
Some might say that I’m one of those fitness anomalies - I’m both an ultra runner and a yogi - someone who enjoys long distance trail running who can also bend, stretch and flex my body into various shapes.
While out on the trails, I would often listen to fellow runners talk about wanting a stronger core, stronger glutes and hamstrings, or even just increased balanced so that they could be more stable while running on technical terrain. And each time I’d hear this, I’d extend an invitation to come do yoga with me which was often met with laughter or the excuse of not being flexible (the old “can’t touch my toes” is one of my favorites!), or even that it’s too hippy dippy, or the most common response, “I don’t have time…”
On the flip side, I’d hear from fellow yogis that they wanted to get stronger so they could continue to bend, stretch, fly without injury and that they needed to incorporate more cardiovascular elements into their yoga routine.
I started doing HIIT Yoga at home, as a workout for myself. I designed it as a way to get an efficient workout that blended both of my worlds and started to see great results. I noticed how much stronger my core was getting, how my balance and stamina had increased and how my energy levels were skyrocketing. I began talking about it to my fellow runners and then to a yoga studio I was teaching at in San Francisco.
I asked the yoga studio to let me rent out the space on Wednesday evenings and allow me to invite friends, runners, their clients and anyone and everyone to come in and try this workout. And what I found was it attracted a group of highly motivated athletes who loved the dynamic and challenging movements but also benefitted greatly from the increased mobility and flexibility.
How has HIIT Yoga grown/changed since you started?
Flex & Flow HIIT Yoga has grown so much over the years; as clients become more and more hooked, they’ve helped inspire new moves, sequences and challenges. It’s also become a workout that athletes, yogis, fitness enthusiasts and those just looking for a great sweat can come together and sweat hard and have fun while doing it!
How have you seen your previous or current students benefited from this practice?
I think one of the best things about the Flex & Flow HIIT Yoga workout is seeing my clients get stronger, more agile and achieve their fitness goals. When it’s a consistent part of their practice, the results come quickly - whether it’s getting a more toned, leaner body, or being able to take on new challenges and achieve new milestones.
In what ways do you think this workout brings people together and supports the #sweatpink and Flex & Flow values of community-centered fitness?
This workout is designed to bring people together around sweat. No matter your fitness level, the Flex & Flow HIIT Yoga workout will challenge you and inspire you to push harder and sweat harder with each workout.
Our participants always create a bond as they feed off of each other’s energy. When they’re doing a tough set of mountain climber sprints or plank jack push-ups, they get inspired by the person next to them giving it their all and then feel driven to do the same.
How do you use HIIT Yoga in your fitness or ultra running training plan? OR How do you suggest others use this workout in their fitness or race training?
HIIT Yoga is one of the main things that has made me a stronger runner. I do it at least 2-3 times per week in addition to my weekly running and yoga and know that it is largely responsible for helping me get faster and increasing my balance and mobility. I feel stronger, leaner and more capable because of it.
I suggest that anyone - no matter if they’re training for a race, event or just life - come in to experience the magic of HIIT Yoga!
Will there be HIIT yoga classes at EMPOWER Race Series?
We are hosting HIIT Yoga classes at our upcoming EMPOWER Race + Yoga Festival. HIIT Yoga is the very embodiment of empowerment.The workout shows us what we’re truly capable of, inspiring and motivating us to embrace our strength, to challenge ourselves, and to push past our fears.
Train like an athlete with #FFYHIITYoga for #EmpoweredRaceSeries with @Titanium_Racing @FitApproach #IAmEmpowered #SweatPink #RaceChat!
Alright, y'all, we've heard it all from the woman who loves to get after it all day, every day whether she's motivating others on the yoga mat, inspiring runners on the trails to go the extra mile, or working hard to push herself to take the next inversion and arm balance. You can catch Jamie in action on her Instagram and get sweaty with her on her YouTube channel.
And if you’re as pumped about HIIT Yoga as we are, we’re hosting our first ever HIIT Yoga Teacher Training at the end of April at Flex & Flow in Portland, OR. Check out the details here to find out how you can deepen your HIIT Yoga practice or even teach HIIT Yoga classes.
We’re counting down the days until we can all meet up in San Francisco this August for a weekend of empowerment, sweat and fun. How are you gearing up for the EMPOWER Race and Yoga Festival? What are your favorite ways to cross-train?
Spread the #sweatyvibes and sign up for #EmpoweredRaceSeries with @Titanium_Racing @FitApproach #IAmEmpowered #SweatPink #FFYHIITYoga!