The physical and mental benefits of a consistent yoga practice are widely known: Research shows that eight weeks of yoga can improve functional fitness in healthy adults, and that yoga rooted in breath work and repetitive poses can also help with general anxiety, especially when practiced alongside more traditional forms of therapy.
But for those of us who crave a greater challenge or feed off the heart-pumping energy of cardio workouts, it can be hard to get into yoga and stick with it. That’s where our new guest coach Brett Hoebel’s yoga-capoeira fusion classes come in.
These dynamic and energizing workouts blend the basic principles of yoga with the full-range movements of Brazilian capoeira, a martial art practice that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. The result is a routine that moves your entire body in a different and dynamic way, making it a perfect option for anyone from experienced yogis to cardio-lovers and dance fitness fans.
When you add the curvilinear motions of capoeira to the linear movements of yoga, Hoebel says, it expands and challenges the way you use your muscles. “There are only so many chaturangas you can do until someone is fried out with push-ups,” he adds.
Hoebel’s unique workouts also complement strength training “because the yoga portion is good for people to cross-train, and the capoeira portion is physically challenging,” he says. “I think people will appreciate the physical and mental challenge [that] capoeira-yoga has to offer.”
Hoebel created three different yoga-capoeira classes: Brazilian Yoga Sculpt combines basic capoeira moves with yoga poses so you can build a strong foundation. Yoga Martial Arts Flow will spike your heart rate while improving balance and coordination. Finally, Capoeira Yoga Flow is designed to challenge the lower body and core while you break a serious sweat on the mat. Once you try these workouts, you’ll see how challenging they really are. I always get comments from people about how my classes kick their butts, he says.
Hoebel, a NASM-certified celebrity trainer and registered yoga teacher, studied martial arts training in capoeira while in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. He began his fitness journey when he injured his back as a pre-medical student. After meeting with several doctors who suggested surgery was the only solution, Hoebel looked into alternative remedies and was referred to an acupuncturist, a physical therapy specialist, and a yoga instructor. That course of treatment helped heal his back without surgery and the experience changed his life. From there, Hoebel began fusing yoga and capoeira together and using both modalities to influence his training techniques.
Get to know Hoebel better below, then jump on your Tonal to try out his new classes.
MEET GUEST COACH BRETT HOEBEL
For Hoebel, mindset is everything. Most of his motivation comes from the people around him, especially his capoeira masters. He is also inspired by music because it helps him create an emotional connection to movement and fitness. “I believe that when you mix the right movement with the right music with the right mindset, transformation happens,” he says. Here, Hoebel shares more details about his approach to training.
Coaching Style: Tough love. “I like to keep things moving, no dilly-dallying, but also enough rest and recovery because I expect you to give 100 percent like I do,” he says.
Fitness Inspiration: Bruce Lee. “Over the years, as I learned more about him as a philosopher and the descrimination and battles he went through to teach westerners his martial art, he has become a true role model,” he says.
Morning Routine: Wake up at 6 a.m. take a cold shower while listening to The Daily podcast by The New York Times. Then I’ll have a green tea matcha or coffee latte followed by yoga and breathwork, and then a morning high-intensity interval training class.
Benefits of Strength Training: Strength training became a big part of my approach early on in my career. My capoeira is more enjoyable. I am more stable as a base in acroyoga, which makes the experience better for me and my partner.
Workout Takeaway: I hope you develop a deeper, emotional connection to your training, and you enjoy learning capoeira and yoga. If you like it, you’ll keep doing it!