Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About PiYo

by Heather

{If you’re looking for the workout DVDs for PiYo by Chalene Johnson, find them here!}

piyo workout dvds

Today’s PiYo post is from Candice at Chia Seed Me. When Candice first introduced herself (on the bus to the Frito Lay tour) she said she was a yoga teacher, which I thought was pretty cool. But when I got to talk to her later, she said she was actually a PiYo instructor. I was instantly excited- PiYo is one of my favorite classes at the gym. Though I try & try again, yoga doesn’t mesh 100% with my personality- I much prefer Pilates. PiYo, however, is like the ‘Heather version’ of yoga- just enough to get the calming & stretching, but not so much that I lose my attention span.

But I’ll let Candice tell you all about it:

what's piyo

Hey ‘with a Side of Sneakers’ readers!

I met Heather on the first day of the Healthy Living Summit and loved her instantly! I’m so excited about the opportunity to guest post on her lovely blog.

Heather asked me to write a post about PiYo (pronounced Pie-yo), and I jumped at the chance for two reasons:

  1. Many people don’t know what PiYo is
  2. I absolutely love it and want to spread the love:)

My Story

I have been a runner for a couple of years now, and finally decided about six months ago that I wanted to give yoga a chance. I knew it was supposed to be good for stretching and strengthening, as well as fostering a mind/body connection.

So, I checked out the class schedule at my gym and found that there was only one yoga class per week. One! I did, however, also notice another class called PiYo. I figured why not try it?!

That week I went to both the yoga class as well as the PiYo class and absolutely loved both! Over the next several months, I went to every single class religiously. The more classes I attended, the more I wanted to go back because I was noticing several things starting to happen.

First, my runs were improving. I’ve never been good about taking time to stretch after runs, but after going to PiYo and yoga just three times a week I noticed my body getting stronger, more flexible and more resilient.

Second, my attitude improved. Taking those three hours a week to do something for myself made me feel more positive about my body, and it made me more motivated to take care of my body in other ways, such as eating healthy food. It caused me to begin loving my body for what it could do for me rather than focusing on how it looked.


What is it?

Now, we all know what yoga is…but what is PiYo?

PiYo is a hybrid, athletic workout, which combines the mind/body practices of yoga and Pilates, as well as the principles of stretch, strength training, conditioning and dynamic movement. During a PiYo class, you will find yourself standing in a yoga pose one minute, and down on the floor in a Pilates pose the next!

It is a pre-designed class that will really get your heart rate going as it features various styles of yoga and Pilates in continuous movement and flow from one exercise to another. Sometimes I describe PiYo as a hyper version of yoga, but with the benefits of deep breathing, balance, stretching, strengthening and relaxation. And to top it all off, the music is awesome!

Getting Certified

During this time of attending classes, I was also going through a major life change. I decided to leave my job at the time in order to pursue something that I could be passionate about and that didn’t leave me feeling drained at the end of the day. I was making a two hour commute at the time.

While I knew teaching classes at the gym was never going to make me rich, I would get paid to exercise (what?!), and it would provide a little bit of extra money each month. Plus, many gyms offer free membership to instructors!

While I was interested in both yoga and PiYo certification, I decided to start with PiYo for a number of reasons:

First, I love the format of fusing together the benefits of both Pilates and yoga; it’s unique, mainstream and fun!

Second, it is less expensive. For under $200 you walk away fully certified to teach classes and with your first pre-designed class.

Third, it is a pre-designed format. Once you are certified, you have the freedom to use the exact lessons/music that have already been created, use pieces of the lessons/music, or get creative and form your own! I love that I can start off with a pre-made lesson and music and then change it up as I become more confident and experienced.

Fourth, it is less rigorous than yoga certification. Starting with PiYo gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet as an instructor and get some experience before dropping a lot of money and time. I have now registered to become yoga certified in September as well, but I’m so glad that I’ve already been teaching PiYo classes.

Since I started teaching, I have grown to love it more and more. It is so refreshing to go to class and see other women (and sometimes men!) challenging themselves in new ways and getting better with every class.

Well, I hope I’ve convinced you that you should head straight to the nearest gym immediately and try PiYo! I kid, I kid. Though I do hope that you all feel more informed about what PiYo is and that you’ll try it out if you get the chance. I promise, you will love it!!

If you’re interested in learning more about the certification process, feel free to visit my blog or contact me at Candice@chiaseedme.com. You can also find out more by visiting the official PiYo website.

It’s so nice to “meet” all of you! And thanks again for having me, Heather. You rock!

If you think PiYo is up your alley, find it here: PiYo Or try some of these workouts too: Yogilates, ChaLEAN Extreme, and TurboFire.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky August 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

PiYo sounds like my type of workout! I am a runner at heart, but I try to supplement with some stretch and strength workouts. Sounds like this would be the best of both worlds :)


Sana August 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Yesss! My kinda exercise! I can’t stand doing the same more for more than a minute!


Amy B @ Second City Randomness August 23, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I talked to Candice a little about this at HLS- I think it sounds great because I’m not big into traditional yoga, either…


Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward August 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Thanks for this informative post about PiYo! I had never heard of it before. It sounds like something I would really enjoy!


Shelly August 23, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Sounds like a great workout. I’ll be the first in my hic’ town to even know what it is. 😉


Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat August 23, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Sounds like an awesome workout. I’ve never heard of it before, but maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a class somewhere around me. Time to start lookin!


Sagan August 24, 2010 at 8:05 am

Cool! I’d never heard of it before. It sounds similar to the Body Flow class that I sometimes take at my gym. I like those kinds of hybrid classes :)


sylvia klimczyk January 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I love his class


DeAnna Dimmitt March 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as a fellow PiYo instructor. I just came across your blog and love your post about PiYo! I too find that many people have never heard of it but once I explain what it is, I usually get an enthusiastic response. Thanks for helping to spread the word!
DeAnna Dimmitt Just blogged…PiYo: efficiency meets effectiveness


Leslie July 20, 2014 at 8:56 am

I’ve wondered what Piyo is. It looks like a better way to train a few times a week. Which is great! I’m going to look into it! Thanks for sharing & good luck in your Yoga certification.
Leslie Just blogged…Sunday Social


Nicole February 25, 2015 at 10:26 am

I am totally late to the party on this post, but I just started PiYo, and totally agree that my running has gotten better, and it’s only been a week. I have trained for a half marathon in the past, and had a ton of problems with leg pain (IT band issues, I think), so bad that I couldn’t complete the training or the race :( So this time around, for my race in May, I started doing yoga and pilates, and then discovered PiYo, and even in a short time, the pain that I was experiencing in the first couple weeks of training has gone away and my legs feel awesome. My flexibility has increased and I have no pain until I get into the longer runs, which I think will continue to increase as my legs and core get stronger. So basically, PiYo is great :)


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