“It’s boring and too easy,” says Irene.
Irene is just one of my friends who thinks yoga is boring. As a yoga teacher, I know the two reasons why Irene and others think this way.
First, they went to a yin, restorative, or beginners’ yoga class, which most athletic people will find boring and too easy. While I think they need these yoga classes for active rest, we can’t force them to like what they don’t like. Second, they have yet to try fusion yoga.
The physical postures in yoga are excellent in improving your strength and mobility. However, many people find them too easy and boring. While Chaturanga Dandasana and Downward Facing Dogs strengthen your arms, they can only improve your pushing strength. Thus, yoga lacks poses that enhance your pulling strength.
So, how do you achieve balance in pushing and pulling strength? That’s where fusion yoga comes in.
What is Fusion Yoga?
Yoga fusion or fusion yoga combines traditional asanas (physical yoga poses) and other forms of fitness. These forms of fitness can be strength and resistance training, TRX training, dance, indoor cycling or spinning, and Pilates. There is no limit as to whatever you can incorporate with yoga. Combining yoga with other disciplines makes you get more bang for your buck.
Why You Should Try Yoga Fusion
Yoga is great on its own. But let’s be honest, sometimes you just want to do something new. If you have not tried any yoga fusion yet, here are the reasons why you should.
Yoga can be repetitive, especially types of yoga such as Ashtanga. You will do the same set of poses over and over again. While this is great, and you can see your progress in certain poses right away, it can get boring. A yoga fusion can give you more variety since you will be doing new movements.
Achieve Your Fitness Goals Faster
Let’s face it, many forms of yoga are low intensity and not enough if your goal is to be fit. Most yoga classes are slow and restorative. These classes don’t put enough stress on your muscles, which you need if you want to grow them and make them stronger.
These forms of yoga also do not improve your agility and muscle endurance. It may take a while for you to achieve your fitness goals if you only practice yoga. Fusion yoga can improve muscle growth, burn more calories, and increase your overall strength. These will also help you achieve your fitness goals faster.
Saves Time and Money
Many of us don’t have enough time to go to the studio or gym three or more times a week to practice yoga and another form of fitness. When you do a yoga fusion, you can save time since you’re doing two forms of exercises in one class. It saves money, too. You don’t have to pay for another class or instructor.
Popular Types of Fusion Yoga
There are many types of yoga fusions out there. Here are the most common ones.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates have so many things in common, which may be why people confuse one with the other. While Pilates focuses on core strengthening alone, yoga focuses on core strengthening but also ethical guidelines, spirituality, meditation, and breathing exercises.
Yogilates is a fusion of both practices. It was created by fitness instructor Jonathan Urla based on the systems of yoga and Pilates. According to its founder, it is “a refined integration of both yoga and Pilates, offers a moderate, balanced, and healthy amount of exercise for our modern lifestyle.”
If you think yoga is boring, try yogilates or yogalates as your fusion yoga. You get the benefits of meditation and pranayama of yoga while also the core exercises that will make you sweat like a horse.
Rare is a yoga class where you start with socks and shoes on. But it’s what you do in a spin yoga class. Spin yoga or spinning yoga is a new trend that combines yoga and spinning. Like many forms of exercise, you start with a warm-up.
Then comes pranayama, and then comes riding with new age music or inspirational talks in the background. After indoor cycling to flats and hills by changing the cycle’s front wheel resistance, the instructor will guide you through a series of yoga poses. You’ll do these poses either on a bike or on the yoga mat.
Want to boost yoga’s balancing, flexibility, and strengthening benefits? Try TRX yoga.
TRX yoga, as the name suggests, is a fusion of yoga and TRX suspension training. Just like yoga, you can do it anywhere. You just need to bring the strap with you. The strap can make yoga poses both easier and more difficult.
For yogis who have difficulty balancing some poses, such as a Warrior 3, you can use the strap to help you balance. TRX can also make poses such as crow and handstands less scary as you can use the band to anchor you. It’s also a great tool to use for strength building, so you can do more yoga poses easily.
Want a routine that includes strength training, cardio, stretching, pranayama, and meditation? HIIT yoga is for you. It’s a combination of yoga and high-intensity interval training. The classes are structured with high intensity, fast-paced flows that will get your heart pumping and slow flows that relieve muscle tension. It’s like Vinyasa but with burpees—lots of them.
Yoga Dance Fusion
If you like having music in the background while practicing yoga, you will like yoga dance fusion. This combination of yoga and dance encourages yogis to move to the rhythm of the song. It incorporates yoga asanas with fluid movements of a dance.
There are different types of dance incorporated in yoga classes. You will find a class that is a fusion of yoga and ballet, yoga and tribal dance, and even yoga and hip hop.
Yoga and Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are elastic bands or tubes that are commonly used in physical therapy. But they are now also commonly used in strength training and yoga. Using resistance bands in your yoga practice can make asanas more challenging.
Resistance bands come in lightweight, moderate, and heavyweight, just like free weights. So, if you think one band is getting too loose and therefore doesn’t give you enough resistance, you can use one with higher resistance. The good thing about resistance bands is they are very portable. You can bring them everywhere.
How to Incorporate Resistance Band in Your Yoga Practice
Chair Pose with Resistance Band
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand tall in Tadasana or Mountain Pose.
- Put a band around your thighs. Inhale as you bring your arms up.
- Exhale as you hinge from your hips and bend your knees.
- Repeat for five to eight rounds.
Staff Pose with Resistance Band
Here’s how to do it:
- Sit down and extend your legs forward while keeping your back straight.
- Loop a band around your feet.
- Hold each end of the band, just enough that you can pull it with your back straight.
- Inhale and brace your core. Exhale and pull the band, bringing your elbows to your side.
- Repeat for five to eight rounds.
Yoga, on its own, is beneficial to health and wellness. But when you combine it with other types of fitness systems, the benefits are amplified. You should definitely try a yoga fusion class the next time you go to a gym or studio.