Racing to Om - fitness class combines spinning and yoga

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:23am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pairing indoor cycling's intense, calorie-busting cardio workout with yoga, the mind-body practice of stretching into inner peace, may seem like a mismatch but fitness experts say it works.

Whether it is called Yoga Ride, Spin to Ride or Cycle Yoga, the two very different activities complement each other to improve fitness and flexibility.

Cycle Yoga classes at The Spinning Yogi studio in Lakewood, Colorado, follow the typical format: first spin, then stretch, according to owner and instructor Patsy Juarez.

"Cycling is so cardio-vascular intense," said Juarez. "We do that for a half hour then change gears, stretching out the things we tightened up."

One 60-minute class, she added, incorporates cardio, flexibility and strengthening elements.

"The first (part) gets your heart rate going so you can jump into yoga quicker," she said. "It feels like a full body workout in an hour's time."

And the transition to yoga is quick and involves moving to a different room and easing into an easy yoga pose.

At Crunch, the national chain of fitness centers, New York City-based instructor Taj Harris said slowing down music in the yoga room smoothes the transition for its Yoga Ride classes.   Continued...