When it comes to yoga, there are people who are purists. And then there are people like me. I love yoga, but I also love a good physical challenge. Moreover, I love the strength drills that help you achieve the more advanced postures.
For people like me, yoga has always been something we do to enhance our regular workouts. I would describe myself as primarily a runner who supplemented with yoga to build flexibility and strength. As time has gone on and I have started to train to become a yoga teacher, I have committed myself more to being a yogi and found that it really can be adequate as its own workout.
But yoga is changing. So many people now want to combine their workouts and get all the benefits and mindfulness of yoga with the high energy and impact of other classes like boot camp and Cross Fit. Here are some of the latest yoga “hybrids” that will rev your engine and help you mix it up.
1.) Soul Cycle:
Anyone who has taken a spin class knows it’s not exactly a spiritual experience. Sweat is flying and your instructor is yelling, “higher, higher, faster, faster!” It is high energy and a ton of fun, but it doesn’t have that focus on the breath and the interior like yoga does. Enter Soul Cycle. From the moment you walk in, you know it is different. Think candles and mantras. Think heart pumping cardio with soul boosting yoga. This is the stuff.
2.) Warrior Sculpt:
This is a class exclusive to Lifetime Athletic (a national gym and the one I belong to). A friend once described it as “yoga on crack” and that’s exactly what it is. Think boot camp in a heated room with some of the principals of yoga only sped up and more intense. If you are a cardio queen (like me) who also loves yoga (like me), this will be your favorite class in no time.
A cross between martial arts and yoga, Budokon is like a slow dance into fierce poses. There is a flow and many of the same postures as in yoga, but the movement is less static and more constantly evolving. If you want to feel empowered by your yoga, this is the class to take. It’s fierce and spiritual at the same time.
4.) Aerial Yoga:
It’s just fun! It’s yoga! In hammocks! My husband and I tried this one and loved it. There are many yoga moves, but it also is a little more like being a circus performer. You do all your work with hammocks suspended from the ceiling. The “work” includes swinging and hanging and twisting yourself up so much, it’s easy to forget you are actually working out. What could be more fun than that?
This one is a cross between yoga and pilates. So if you like the moves of pilates, but prefer the spirituality of yoga, this is the class for you.