FIT6: Tami Combs, Yoga Instructor

FIT6: Tami Combs, Yoga Instructor

Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. This week’s guest is Tami Combs. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to

P1000893Tell Us a Little About Yourself

I am Tami Sue Combs and I am a yoga teacher. I have been teaching since 2005. I graduated from Yoga East’s 200-hour teacher training in 2006 and 500-hour in 2012. I have taught in excess of 4,500 hours of yoga since, primarily at Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center, local hospitals and churches.

My degree is in accounting and I spent 20+ years as a financial advisor. After the death of my only sister, I realized yoga was not just increasing my physical strength, balance, and, flexibility, but my mental, too.  In one of those “life changing” moments, I took the plunge, quit my job and started the training.

Over the past ten years, I have roamed all over the country finding the best teachers I to learn from.  I particularly love to work with seniors and individuals with diseases, injuries and illnesses since yoga often helps to relieve symptoms and restore health. While I would not call myself a therapist, I do teach and use yoga therapeutically.

My classes are fun, playful, and light-hearted; a place where one can gain not only strength, balance and flexibility of mind and body, but also a place to find solace, friends, laughter.  EVERYONE can do yoga. And you can try it free – just contact me at!

Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health

1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?

Depends on the season. All year, I do yoga daily and step aerobics or other group exercise classes. I love the motivation and shared energy. I don’t like cold weather unless I’m skiing, so I do more Group X [fitness] in the winter. In warmer months, I love to be outside, kayaking for the upper body and core; road biking for leg/hip focus. I love to hike in the woods and spend a lot of time on the trails of Mt. St. Francis & Clifty Falls in the summer.

Because I teach 20+ classes/workshops/private lessons weekly, I don’t have enough time to do all the training I’d like, so I do several “mini” workouts through the day such as fast-walking my dogs and chickens (yes, they follow us!) and walking the Big Four Bridge when I’m in the area. Each morning, I walk up/down the stairs as my dogs eat, then we walk up/down hills to get my heart rate up. I teach my students how to do yoga while pumping gas, traveling, standing in lines, etc., so we don’t waste a minute! Everyone’s lives are so busy. Seven minutes a day can change your life.

P10008962) How do you prepare for a workout?

Morning work-outs require a little caffeine. I rarely eat in the morning as it interferes with yoga practice. A few cups of coffee and a cup of 2% milk to start my day.  After morning practice and classes, I prepare for the afternoon by eating Greek yogurt with berries and ¼ cup of granola. Sometimes, it’s peanut butter on a banana or a cup of broth soup. I love food, but get so tired if I eat much at once.

3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?

If I am seriously in need of energy, I drink a non-fat, sugar-free latte. If I have easy access to turkey, cheese or nuts, I try to stick with proteins since the energy provided lasts longer.

4) What is your daily nutritional meal plan when training?

Because of an under-active thyroid, keeping weight off is a challenge. Plus, did I say I like to eat – really, I LOVE food. For me, portion control is necessary, training or not. Sometimes I pay extra for prepackaged portions (peanut butter). Other times, I create my own portions; I count out crackers for my tuna (just tuna and a pickle, no dressing).

I carry a cooler each day filled with water and whatever I plan to eat.  The cooler also helps me to notice my hydration. My cupboard always has tuna, romaine (I love salads and all veggies on them); hummus with raw veggies and a few pita chips; avocado, black beans, and fresh eggs from my chickens. I’m not a vegetarian, but I eat like one most of the time.

Twenty-five years ago, I lost weight through Jenny Craig and have counted calories, fats, and carbs ever since. I replicate what I learned with grocery store food.  I should be their poster girl. Here I am now working as a yoga teacher!

5) What do you snack on between meals when training?

Snacks never appealed to me. I want the whole thing! I always look at number of and calories per serving, multiplying the two. I assume I’ll eat the whole bag. If that doesn’t discourage me from purchasing, I’ll pull out the one serving and give or throw away the remainder. I’m still working on willpower, so eating mindfully is important – savoring each bite, not watching TV or computing, really making my meal an event.

For me, food should be presented attractively. I prepare small tapas plates with something like this: two slices of rolled good turkey like Boar’s Head with a few crackers and a little mustard for dipping; various types of olives; a couple of pickled beets or something else pickled (pickled foods reduce hunger pains);and some colorful fruit.

IMG_13766) What are your fitness & health goals?

Personally, I am convinced that yoga is the fountain of youth. A lube job for the body, yoga enables me to feel better in everything I do off the mat. My goal is to live a long, healthy life and to be hiking, paddling, biking, climbing trees and hills and enjoying all that this life has to offer.

Professionally and as a humanitarian, I want to introduce as many people as possible to the life-transforming qualities and benefits of yoga. We’ve tried using our minds to control and change our body and mind. Yoga teaches us how to improve mental and physical health by controlling and changing our muscles. Joy off the mat!