Many traditional yoga studios are starting to dabble in the yoga fusion world due to its increasing popularity in recent years. Many yogis have strong opinions of whether or not there is a place in the world of yoga for fusion, however my thought is if it gets people active and in a safe way, then why not? Besides, yoga fusion can be an AWESOME way of marketing to the cardio junkies and gym rats in the community to give yoga a shot and thus opening a door to the rest of yoga. And, let's not forget the importance of getting the heart-rate up in any balanced fitness program--this is one way you can provide valuable cardiovascular exercise to your members.
Fusion is just the word used to express the combining of different concepts, techniques. Food fusion is getting more and more popular and in the fitness world, yoga is hardly the only format of physical fitness to offer fusion classes. You hear about Spin-lates, Piloxing, and the whole idea around Barre workouts is just a fusion of ballet, pilates, and a sprinkle of everything in between. And that's only to name a few. These types of classes are gaining followers and if you are considering shaking up your studio's class offering, I would highly recommend offering a Yoga Fusion. And you don't necessarily have to call it fusion, you can put any kind of spin on it to hint to your participants that this class will take a step away from traditional form to offer other techniques. Be sure you are clear in your class description and that your instructors are well trained. Correct form and coaching when adding weights is crucial to a safe experience. Also, a proper warm-up and ending with cool-down stretches and savasana should absolutely be included every time.
The Pedals and Poses yoga fusion is based around vinyasa flow and about half of the class incorporates resistance training with small hand weights and cardio training with HIIT style of in-place drills. Every now and then I will really shake things up and have my participants jump rope or use resistance bands or something, but in general, I stick to a pretty consistent form. However, despite all of these more Westernized forms of exercise, I always stress at the beginning of my class that it is a YOGA class. All of the guidelines about following your breath, modifying, resting in child's pose if needed etc., all of it applies to a fusion class. Participants should feel comfortable to stop using the weights or slow down their pace at any time.
If you are curious about yoga fusion, start checking around your area for other fusion style of classes and familiarize yourself with in-place exercises that you can do on the mat. Pilates and interval training classes are an awesome resource for these types of things. In the video below, I demonstrate 3 different activities that I use frequently in my fusion class and that you can use too! Let me know if you have any questions, comments below!