Last Friday, I thought I would try something different. In my experience, the easiest way to stay motivated in my yoga practice is to try out new teachers and studios. I recently learned about a new type of yoga: FITT Yoga, from Fitt Balance Owner and Trainer, Christen Singer.
What is FITT Balance?
FITT Balance is a West Coast based business led by Christen that works in cooperation with Ron Gossard from Evolve Paddleboards to offer unique aquatic fitness classes and Flow Motion fitness boards.
FITT Balance offers 5 different facets of fitness programming based on the FITT fitness principle: Boot camp, Kids, Seniors, Yoga and Personal Training are all currently available in the Burien and Des Moines area.
The FITT principle:
Frequency: How often you exercise
Intensity: How hard your workout will be
Type: What kind of exercises you will do
Time: How long your workout will last
Last Friday, I signed up for the evening yoga class. Prior to attending, I had several questions (I have not taken an aquatic yoga class before) but I quickly learned the answers.
Will I get wet?
Yes. Absolutely. The class started with a few standing exercises in the water.
What Do I Wear?
Based on the pictures on FITT Balance’s website, I decided to wear a normal yoga outfit that was not absorbent (no cotton). Overall, I was very comfortable, but one could easily be comfortable in a swimsuit or hot yoga outfit (shorts and sports bra).
Will I get cold?
This question was my main concern as I am used to a heated yoga room. However, the water at Highline Athletic Club was 86 degrees and the pool area was very comfortable. After a few poses on the board, I was surprised at how warm my body was. I never felt chilled or cold during the class.
Can I wear my glasses or contacts?
Since I usually wear contacts for yoga, I decided to wear them during the class. I did not want to lose them in the water so I was very cautious on the board during pose transitions and I did not fall in the water. For future classes, I plan on wearing my glasses so that I can be less cautious and just look for the glasses later.
Is 30 minutes long enough for a yoga class?
When I looked at the schedule, I thought ’30 minutes is too short’ for a class. However, I found the core integration and balance challenge offered by this unique platform was very challenging and 30 minutes was plenty of time to get in a good yoga practice.
What is the yoga sequence like?
Due to the unique platform, the yoga sequence is not a traditional sequence. We started with a few standing exercises in the water, then boarded the mats and continued with traditional poses such as cat/cow, child’s pose, downward facing dog, chair, etc. Overall, I would characterize the class as a fitness-based yoga class more than a mindfulness-based yoga class due to it’s environment and the series that was offered.
Christine cued to body position and breath, and her voice was articulate and easy to understand in the aquatic environment. I would have liked to also see her cue on core integration, or uddiyana bandha, in the beginning of the sequence and on gaze, or drishti, in the standing poses. Once I remember to engage my core, balancing on the mat required less effort and once I found a non-moving focal point for my gaze (tip: do not try to focus your eyes on the mat, as it is moving too!) I found the standing poses to be more accessible.
One pose that I felt was not a good match for the environment was triangle pose. Triangle is a difficult pose on land and requires connecting your feet solidly to the ground on a single line. In water, it felt like there was nothing to root myself into and I felt the intent of the pose was lost.
The beauty of FITT yoga is that the flowing poses feel magical on water and I think the water element adds another dimension to the fluidity of a vinyasa sequence. The small class size makes the experience enjoyable and intimate. I would definitely recommend this class to someone who is seeking to mix-up their normal yoga routine or to anyone who is normally drawn to water. I also believe any level of practitioner, whether beginner, intermediate or advanced yogis, will enjoy this class and can access a new element in their practice with this plaftorm.
Find out More
To learn more about the FITT Principle, here is an informative Shape article.
To see the current class offerings, click here: FITT class schedule.
FITT Balance is working with Mount Rainier Pool to host an educational event on Sat, Mar 18 from 3p-5p for healthcare providers of southwest King county to mix, mingle and learn about the various types of aquatic programming offered. Learn more here: mrpool_healthyliving_invite.
🤔 Have you tried any aquatic yoga classes? What did you think? Comment below!
Note: I wrote this article prior to receiving any product or monetary compensation from FITT Balance. However, I have now been offered a free class as a “Thank You”.