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Kickboxing Yoga: It exists! KICKASANA at Fearless Phoenix in Cape Elizabeth

++ Get out (but, like, not too far). We all love and appreciate the positive effects of the Maine outdoors. Hopefully we’ll be back to all kinds of adventuring soon. But for now, press pause. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has some great advice: stay close to home, steer clear of busy locations, keep your distance (and stick to walking/hiking with folks from your household). ++

Kickboxing Yoga: It exists! KICKASANA at Fearless Phoenix in Cape Elizabeth

Kickboxing and yoga. Together! Together?

It’s true, these two disciplines don’t seem altogether compatible at first glance. When I first heard that a kickboxing yoga class existed, I imagined leaning into warrior pose before letting a stream of punches fly into a heavy bag, or kicking at aforementioned bag while holding my hands at heart center.

It sounded odd. And sort of awesome.


Really cool update:! Fearless Phoenix is now offering FREE KICKASANA classes on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., as of Oct. 6, 2015. FREE!


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The tools of the kickboxing yoga trade: Mats, straps and gloves. Oh yeah. Upper right: head shots to the bag alongside Fearless Phoenix owner and head instructor Paul Sahlin. Photo by Sarah Loring

As it turns out, the kickboxing yoga class is divided into two parts: The first 30 minutes focuses on kickboxing (the proper technique and form) and the remainder of the hour is focused on yoga.

So my vision wasn’t quite right. That’s okay. The pairing is still a fantastic one.

The Kickboxing-yoga combination class is a creation of Paul Sahlin, owner and head instructor at Fearless Phoenix Fitness in Cape Elizabeth, which opened last fall. Paul calls the combo, aptly, KICKASANA.

Paul has been a yoga practitioner for a decade and half – he also trains in Muay Thai. As a teacher of both, it was just a matter of time before he combined the two.

And between you and me, the intense cardio of kickboxing and the flexibility and strengthening of yoga make for one serious, sweat-inducing, panting, flushed face kind of workout. (I considered giving future workouts an intensity rating based on how red my face got. KICKASANA would rate as fire engine.)

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Looking – ahem – slightly less agile than Paul does while working the bag. Then it was on to the mat for some flexibility. Photos by Sarah Loring

But as challenging as KICKASANA is – and as exhausted as I was by the end of the hour – I still felt wonderfully strong. Maybe wearing boxing gloves has that effect. Maybe it’s the glorious opportunity to punch and kick the dickens out of something in a socially appropriate environment (take that, frustrating day at work!). Maybe it’s the reality that doing something that’s tough as hell – that really challenges us – is wildly empowering.

The kickboxing-yoga class is open to all levels (I had taken a grand total of two boxing classes over the last three years prior to showing up here, but Paul walked me through the basic techniques before each set and tweaked my form as we went. He’s a welcoming teacher, so don’t let inexperience prevent you from giving KICKASANA a try).

Cost is $15 for a drop-in class or $30 for a week of unlimited classes (for new students only). If you drop-in or are new, you can borrow wraps and gloves. Eventually you’ll want to buy a pair of your own. For more about class descriptions and pricing: www.fearlessphoenixfitness.com/info/

KICKASANA classes are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 6:30 p.m. (but do check the Fearless Phoenix schedule in case there are changes).

Paul also leads yoga, cardio-kickboxing and muay thai classes at the studio.

Fearless Phoenix Fitness

331 Ocean House Rd, Cape Elizabeth | 207-956-7978 | www.fearlessphoenixfitness.com


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Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan

I don't like "exercise" any more than you do. But you know what I do like? Paddleboarding with a friend all afternoon (and then sitting in the grass to drink chardonnay). Bike rides and nachos, hikes, yoga classes held in breweries, group paddles to Fort Gorges, you get the idea. Because Maine is my gym.