Active Living,Yoga

Opinion: Yoga, Pilates and the ‘Fusion’ Class

In this article from Sporteluxe – The Intense New Way You’ll Be Practicing Yoga and Pilates in 2017, it mentions these kinds of yoga / Pilates fusion workout classes we can expect to see at the gym this coming year – if you haven’t already started seeing these already.

Coming from life in London over the last 9 years I have seen how much the industry has changed with these trends and evolutions of exercise; it has been both disheartening and exciting. While I have seen studios change and some of my favourite classes completely written out of the timetable, I have also embraced and participated in the new and creative ways people were instructing these classes so that participants gained more from their workouts. It was sometimes short-lived and superseded or it sometimes created an entire new dedicated studio or fitness area at the gym. Like with anything there is good and bad, there are people who love it and people who don’t take to it quite as well.

I completely understand that people want more from their workouts and they want to keep things interesting, exciting and motivating! That one hour lunch break has to be used precisely to get the most from a 30-45 minute class and the instructor is every bit as important as the class itself. Nothing beats smashing a new workout, challenging your body in a different way and having fun with an awesome instructor, all the while enjoying aspects of some of your favourite fitness genres.

The other side of the conversation I’ve had with some dedicated yogis and Pilates teachers has focused on a feeling of injustice to the traditional practice and how the fusion classes part away from the rehabilitative aspects or the philosophy component of the practice. Are they mislead by their loyalty to the traditional practice to think that exercise can’t be evolved to suit a different audience? Are the new fusion classes compromising the integrity of traditional practice so much that it possibly can’t really be called yoga or Pilates? Perhaps it’s a little bit of both.

In my opinion they all remain to have something in common and that is the accessibility to exercise – something I believe is vital in the wellbeing world today. Yoga and Pilates may have their traditions and precise purpose but they are both incredibly accessible to everyone. You don’t have to have a perfect level of fitness or flexibility to participate and there are modifications throughout to tailor the exercise to an individual’s need. Similarly, fusion classes may be based on yoga and Pilates, offering the same accessibility, but they also incorporate other activities such as boxing or surfing to engage and challenge participants to ensure they have an interesting and balanced workout.

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