Yoga continues to be an incredibly strong trend in the fitness world, and what's spurring even more growth is the introduction of new and innovative yoga practice hybrids that are piquing people's curiosity!
Whether you're a yoga newbie, or have enjoyed decades of practice, there's never been a more exciting time to get on the mat. Simple hatha, hot flow, and alignment-based classes are a great foundation, and now some interesting new variations on these classes are showing up on the schedule of your local yoga studio!
1. Restorative - Yoga Nidra – A peaceful and relaxing practice, this is a great class for beginners to start their yoga journey. This practice is also starting to pick up more traffic from the more physically demanding styles of yoga. These classes are inclusive for all fitness levels and are ideal for all ages whether recovering from injury, dealing with pain, or just trying to manage stress. Athletes love this style as a "rest day" practice. Activating the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) and the rest-digest functions of the nervous system is a catalyst for weight loss, and this kind practice is highly effective in balancing the nervous system, hormones, and moods.
2. Aerial Yoga – Yoga studios are adding silks and wall ropes to their class offerings. The feeling of doing the poses while suspended in mid air makes it a unique practice, and we build awareness of and strengthen muscles we didn't know we had! Going upside down is exhilarating and it's great for circulation. Have a good time, but be aware that a fall can result in injury, so don't be afraid to ask questions about your safety.
3. Hot Detox Yoga – These challenging classes are in heavy rotation during the New Year. For more athletic bodies, a hot class can be incredibly welcoming in winter, and it can feel so great to get a good sweat on after a month of indulging. There are lots of twists and forward bends, which can be a problem for people with back issues. Take it easy, stay out of the pain zone, don't push at the edges, and just go at your own pace. The classes are usually jammed in January, so the teacher may not have time to provide you with instructions and guidance for safe execution of the poses.
Watch Deborah Devine's detox yoga practice here.
4. Bro Yoga – Talk about man-spreading! More guys are into yoga than ever before! The Bro Yoga trend has expanded and there are classes for the Type A athletic set, who want a brutal workout and powerful stretching routines. There are also the classes especially for guys who are neither athletic, nor bendy, and the practice is modified to suit their unique limitations. Don't be shy bro! Call the studio and ask about the classes and teachers to find out more!
5. Holy Yoga – Yoga is a spiritual practice, shaped by Hindu and Buddhist traditions of thought. The principles of Judeo-Christianity share many similarities with yogic principles such as non-violence, truthfulness, purity. In fact, many people are curious to know if Jesus was influenced and inspired by these concepts through his travels. So is it a stretch to imagine "Holy Yoga" developing from the areas that are highly compatible and complimentary? Each class is an asana practice, but with a focus on a lesson based on Bible scripture. A wonderful and peaceful way to combine the elements of each tradition.
6. Spin & Yoga – A hard-core aerobic workout perfect for an ugly sweat after ugly sweater season! The instructor takes you on a challenging variety of spin workouts using resistance and weights and incorporates yoga moves at strategic times to stretch warmed up muscles and connective tissue. If you enjoy intensity, this practice is for you!
7. Animals & Yoga – Goat Yoga, Horse Yoga, Adopt-A-Pet Yoga events are driving this trend. It's the best of both worlds! A sweet combination of a simple yoga practice and a bit of an animal therapy session! Be on the lookout for these classes online and sign up early, because they sell out!
8. Beer/Wine/Chocolate Yoga – A lot of new classes are geared to cultivating a community of healthy yogi's who want to enjoy a non-yogic post-class treat. This is not a serious, silent practice, as friendly banter, laughter, and loud music may accompany you through your poses. This is a great way to get to make new friends and expand your circle of (fairly) healthy acquaintances.
The combinations and permutations are seemingly endless, and so we expect the yoga universe to continue to expand and surprise us with more out of this world hybrids!
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