A yoga practise with a difference. Pushing limits and breaking boundaries, Sarah Fakih incorporates HIIT into her practise in order for those involved to hit cardio vascular goals as well as core stamina and flexibility. A full body workout combining tribal dance with a strong Vinyasa flow, find the full inter view in this month’s Om Yoga magazine.
What is Powerflow yoga?
I created Powerflow yoga because I felt that people want more from yoga, they want a full body workout. I love plyometrics and I wanted to incorporate explosive movements to raise our heart rates, but I also wanted something very accessible to guys. I wanted to create something that was still very yogic, so you’re still in tune with your breath and the mindfulness is still there. I will always incorporate a bit of the spirituality because I think whether or not people are interested in that aspect of yoga, it’s still very good for you. In this day and age, we’re all full of stress and high cortisol levels – everyone is always rushing around. People need the explosiveness because they want to hit their cardio goals too.
How does high intensity training and yoga go together?
Because of my Yin training and background in dance and fitness, I was able to incorporate the range of movement as well as the high intensity side of things. When you’re working on your movements, you are still able to connect with your breath, but the explosive exercises throw you and push you to get a full body burn. We start off basically doing a Vinyasa flow, creating a range of movement in our hips and shoulders. It’s a combination of being able to open up, lengthen and strengthen. We do a lot of core work then finish with something like Yin – a lot of people are scared to go to a Yin class, so by incorporating it into this class, you get the benefits of it all. When you’re in my class, I really try to bring you and your mat as one. You have to listen to your body and not let your ego get in the way or feel like you’re competing with the person next to you.
You also teach Buti Yoga, how does that differ from Powerflow?
Buti Yoga is a combination of plyometrics, Powerflow yoga and tribal dance. It’s very different, very tribal and quite primal, a dynamic flow that’s high intensity.
What is your everyday practise?
I’m trained in Ashtanga, Rocket, Mangala and Yin, so depending on where I am physically or mentally on the day, reflects what I practise. Yin yoga for me is magic. I think anyone, whether they have a yoga practise or they don’t, should always try to do Yin. You hold postures for a longer period of time, all seated, but you have to try and really let go. We start to target connected tissue like the facia, whereas when you’re holding a yoga posture, you’re holding breath, and you’re pushing yourself as an active posture. In Yin, you’re very inactive and you start to target, energetically speaking, our meridian lines. We can go very deep. I don’t want to say it’s restorative, but it can massively help you. Not just physically but also mentally.
Your music isn’t the traditional ‘yogic’ soundtrack, how did you put it together?
I teach so many different classes and they all require a different playlist. Everyone always asks me about the music, but it’s more like a collection of my guilty pleasures. Some tracks take from Indian influences, others from a hip hop background. It’s whatever I feel works.
Tell us a bit about your recent trip to Beirut.
I went to Beirut for 12 days and when I came back I had a fever so I physically couldn’t do a strong practise. I’m half Lebanese and feel very connected to my Lebanese roots. Many people have a misconstructed idea of what Beirut is like – it’s stunning! I feel spiritually, many people are disconnected and judgmental due to the history there, but my generation are starting to become a lot more conscious and aware which will energetically have a positive effect on the world we live in.
How did you recover from your trip?
I did Yin for three days straight. Some days I will practise Rocket or a strong Vinyasa Flow, some days I will just do Buti. I teach Buti quite a lot so my practise depends on what I feel my body needs. Usually my practice is quite strong because I like to push myself, but it’s very important to know when you can’t push yourself, for example when you’re feeling really run down. That’s why it’s important sometimes to just embrace a present moment. Let go, sometimes you don’t need a strong workout , you need a bit of you time. Then all of a sudden you go and you do a strong workout and you do that, your energy has come back.
Where can our readers find you?