It’s true: adding variety to your workout routine improves your overall fitness. Switching up your training prevents injuries, and provides your body with “muscle confusion,” which keeps you from hitting a plateau by forcing your muscles to constantly adapt.

But changing your workouts at random may not actually be the smartest way to achieve your best results, because it’s harder to develop a training plan with exercises that complement each other—and harder to stay accountable and make measurable progress in strength or skill. With that in mind, here’s how (and why) to balance your routine intelligently with barre and yoga.

Strength-building, muscular conditioning, stretching, and active recovery: a perfect combination

The overall body strength that you develop in Barre holds you steady as you flow through your yoga asanas, keeps you upright in your standing poses, lends vitality in yogic backbends and enables you to maintain balance. Yoga uses poses that teach all of your muscles to work together, helping to build functional strength that trains your muscles to work efficiently and intelligently, improving your performance in any Core Fusion class.

Here’s how Barre helps your yoga practice:

  1. Amplifies core strength for yoga balances, jump-throughs, and inversions
  2. Improves posture and stability
  3. Lengthens and leans out muscles
  4. Increases thigh and gluteal strength for one-leg balances
  5. Strenthens your upper body for up-dog, down dog, headstands, and handstands
  6. Increases spinal pliability and back health for back-bends
  7. Increases metabolic rate (how much energy you expend while at rest)

Here’s how Yoga helps your Barre practice:

  1. Reduces stress through focused breathing throughout class
  2. Increases flexibility and mobility
  3. Stabilizes the hips and spine
  4. Improves concentration for the detailed positioning and alignment
  5. Improves balance and focus
  6. Develops breath awareness

This perfect blend creates a complementary system for total wellbeing. If you regularly take exhale’s Core Fusion classes, adding even one yoga class per week can totally change how you experience exercise, movement, and body awareness. In the same way, adding Barre to your routine will improve your yoga practice. With a stronger core and greater cardiovascular conditioning, that advanced pose you want to master will be oh so much easier.