What is Yoga Fusion?

Norma Jean Howland

When yoga is combined with another type of workout, the result is called yoga fusion. In this hybrid, traditional yoga poses or movements are mixed with exercise routines. This is sometimes done as part of a warm up or cool down, or it may be included in the main session. Yoga may be blended with dance, Pilates, or just about any other type of workout, including cardiovascular training. Adding yoga to a gym session may even be helpful in alleviating stress or injury by using gentle stretching routines.

The Triangle Pose, a popular yoga move, is also suitable during warm-ups at the gym.
The Triangle Pose, a popular yoga move, is also suitable during warm-ups at the gym.

Since yoga and the Pilates method share many central themes — flowing movement, breathing, and centering — the combination of the two often make for a balanced and grounded workout. Yogilates, the name given to this combination, mixes Pilates style movements with traditional yoga poses. This type of exercise routine may transition back and forth with ease, focusing on body control, concentration, or posture.

At some exercise studios, dance movements are integrated with yoga to create yoga fusion. This type of workout may include the use of a drum beat or music when combining steps and poses. Movements may be borrowed from traditional dance forms, such as ballet or jazz, or created out of newer styles like hip hop. In this style of yoga fusion, the moves may be choreographed using yoga poses for a dramatic effect, like the snake-like body movements of the cobra pose.

Combining a cardiovascular workout with yoga can make this type of exercise more challenging, adding a fast paced element to a yoga session. Yoga fusion may help the body ease into this kind of strenuous exercise. A gym session may start with a simple yoga pose, preparing the body by lengthening the muscles. For instance, a cycling session may start on the floor with a yoga stretch before getting up onto the bikes. Once cyclists are ready to peddle, the workout can become a fast paced aerobic routine, ending with cyclists stepping down off the bikes and letting their heart rates slow down with a yoga stretch.

Adding yoga to a workout may also address modern day stress by integrating breathing techniques into a workout, taking a gym session to a different level. Using yoga fusion could also eliminate some types of injuries by allowing the body to naturally ease into a workout, using stretching and lengthening poses. As a cool down before leaving the gym, yoga may make for an easier transition into the world outside the studio.

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