Yoga these days has a lot of layers added to the classic hatha and vinyasa. Multi-certified instructors are combining it with martial arts, dance, swimming and more—plus, many formerly specialized yoga types are finding a new user base as people look to stretch their bodies and psyche. To borrow a great phrase (and workshop name) from Exhale Spa: Yogis, it's time to Shake Your Chakra!
Kickboxing combined with yoga brings two seemingly opposite exercises together…and then, you see how many overlaps exist between the two. This hybrid combines plyometric and isometric movements, music and meditation. It was invented by certified trainer Jon Koga, a fitness industry professional for nearly three decades.
With standup paddle-boarding (SUP) being so popular, it makes sense that ocean lovers would want to take their yoga onto the water. The width and stability of the boards makes them viable "floating yoga mats," though just like working out on the BOSU, the ever-moving surface makes you engage many tiny muscles that never get used in most regular workouts.
If you prefer to be in the water rather than floating on it, aqua yoga is a low-impact, more body-balancing alternative to land-based versions. It's a favorite of pregnant women, disabled persons, and others with limited mobility.
Yoga Booty Ballet
Gillian and Teigh, the partners behind this fun, sexy, high-results program, have starred in several YBB videos over the years, bringing dance-cardio workouts like Cardio Cabaret to people's TV screens long before the advent of Wii Fit. The program originated at Swerve Studios in Los Angeles, but has spread to other cities via the videos and a teacher training program.
Aerial Yoga Photo credit:
Work on flexibility, challenge your circulation, and pretend you're a Cirque du Soleil performer by taking your poses aerial. This new yoga type puts people in a cloth sling that supports the core but gives greater freedom of movement to limbs, shoulders and trunk. It's offered at various studios and also some hotel spas including the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
Rope yoga has a similar principal to aerial, but suspends people from ropes affixed to a rope wall rather than the ceiling. Different areas of the body can be supported by the ropes depending on their placement. Also, the lower ropes are placed in a way that allows for floor work. Ropes are most commonly incorporated into Iyengar yoga, but can be used in various types and all levels.
Yoga and Chocolate
It's not a pairing for purists, maybe, but for people who want to incorporate more of the five senses into their experience, this is a delicious way to do it. The main guru behind the yoga/chocolate combo is David Romanelli, who goes by "Yeah-Dave" and whose philosophy is based on living and enjoying life in each moment.
Yoga and Capoeira
Requiring incredible core strength and flexibility, the Brazilian fight-dancing discipline Capoeira is one martial art that seems to have natural crossover with yoga. But there are few Capoeira masters in the States – thus, you don't see too many places offering this hybrid. Probably the best-known is Carlos Rodriguez's Caponyasa program, based out of New York City since 2011.
Rock Your Asana, at Shake Your Chakra
And if you're still skeptical of yoga, or haven't found the type that's right for you? Exhale Spa has the solution, and it's equal parts Zen, spa weekend and party. Shake Your Chakra workshops are held throughout the year at various Exhale hotel spas – the next one being at Revel in Atlantic City June 7-9 – and feature beauty bonanzas, trunk shows and live DJs in addition to more traditional offerings like sunrise yoga.