_ Fusion classes are becoming more and more prevalent in group exercise classes. Participants are looking to get the most bang for their buck and thus keen to try multiple modes together in one class. Recently, I spoke with Chelsea Coghill, a group exercise leader with the University of Alberta’s Campus Recreation, about her experience leading a fusion class.
How did you come with the idea to merge an indoor cycling and a yoga class?
The idea was actually posed to me by the U of A Campus Recreation Group Exercise Coordinator when I was initially hired on to teach regular sessions. It was a format that had been tried in the past. The coordinator offered me the fusion class based on my cross training in indoor cycle and yoga only, knowing that there might be challenges in the event I needed a sub because at the time I would have been the only instructor trained in both formats!
What do you think is the most beneficial aspect of a fusion class?
I think the most beneficial aspects of fusion classes are BALANCE and VARIETY. In the cycle-yoga context, cyclists tend to prefer the high intensity and energetic demands of a spin class but may neglect the cool down and stretching components that are also really important. The yoga component offers an extended cool down and stretch along with calming and settling effects. We can’t be go-go-go all of the time, nor is it productive to always be still – BALANCE! Variety is also important to challenge the body, keep classes fun and interesting. It’s nice to follow a format but also allow for new things to be introduced. My favourite instructors are always the ones who hold their style and structure but continue to change things up – you just never know what might show up!
Why does an indoor cycle-yoga fusion class work so well?
To build a little bit on what I’ve already said, the spin-yoga fusion works well because of the complementary nature of the formats, which offers balance. For the indoor cyclists out there, they know that the cycling room can be a place of high energy and intensity – pounding hearts, heavy breathing, high speed, steep hills, burning muscles and maybe even sweat puddles under the bike! Avid cyclists know that muscles get tight and stiff, especially if time is not taken to thoroughly stretch out those working muscles. Adding the yoga component to cycle offers a greater opportunity to build length and flexibility in those areas of the body that get especially tight. It’s also a nice extension that offers participants an opportunity to fully absorb that endorphin release, allowing for additional calming and well being benefits.
Describe a typical class.
Generally, the class is about 80 minutes. The first half to two thirds (37-50 min)
Workman's Cycle Drills & Skills
Enjoy some of my favorite cycle workout drills either in a cycle class or on your own bike at home!