Yoga is an Eastern Indian tradition that focuses on balance, flexibility and spirituality. A mix of traditional yoga poses incorporated with another form of fitness, such as Pilates or resistance training, is called yoga fusion. This blending of techniques focuses on combining mind and body exercises with the benefits of strength, aerobics, balance and flexibility.
The most common type of yoga fusion is yoga and Pilates, commonly known as Yogalates or Yogilates. Pilates focuses on strengthening the small muscle groups of the body's core muscles in the back and abdominals. Pilates balances yoga by offering intense targeted resistance exercises followed by controlled stretching. Both practices involve attaining specific postures, emphasizing correct breathing and meditation.
Another type of yoga fusion is spin yoga. Spin yoga combines the cardiovascular workout of spinning with the benefits of yoga. With this this type of yoga fusion, the muscles that are stressed during cycling get a full stretch of the body as well as the mind and spirit.
Booty ballet is a full body type of yoga fitness that combines yoga with the dance techniques of ballet. These classes incorporate ballet dance moves and poses with the flexibility and balance positions of yoga.
Yoga fusion workouts typically begin with a brief warmup, following by cardiovascular or strength training. Participants then move into breathing and centering followed by flexibility and balance training. Classes normally range from 30 to 60 minutes in length. Instructors may include individualized programs for persons who want to meet specific goals.
The greatest benefit of yoga fusion is that all major muscle groups can be targeted by combining two techniques at one time. It can also offer a new challenge for a person who is only used to practicing traditional yoga. Yoga fusion workouts still provide the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga while also the testing the strength and endurance of the body as a whole. Unlike traditional yoga, yoga fusion workouts are consistently changing because of the vast amount of exercises that can be created by merging two types of fitness. Yoga fusion can also be easily adapted for beginners and persons with special needs. The American Council on Exercise states that yoga fusion can offer an "all-in-one exercise experience” by combining strength, flexibility and endurance.
One downfall of yoga fusion is it offers a less-intense yoga experience,something those who practice traditional yoga might find underwhelming. In addition, beginners who have never taken a yoga class may have trouble keeping up. You will need to learn the basic yoga poses before trying a yoga fusion class.
Jennifer Sween resides in Washington, D.C., and has been writing since 2010. Her expertise is in exercise, fitness and cancer and she primarily writes for LIVESTRONG.COM. Sween is a clinical exercise physiologist and holds a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from the University of Windsor, as well as a Master of Science in exercise physiology from Howard University.