ARTS & LEISURE — December 15, 2017 at 3:44 am

Fusion Fitness and O2 Yoga introduces new exercise practices to Parkland

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Fusion Fitness and O2 Yoga is one of the highest-rated studios in Florida with four and a half stars on Yelp and Google reviews. The studio is filled with decorations to express the connections the studio has to yogi culture. The walls are covered with inspirational quotes and statues of different figures to convey the relationship with Buddhist beliefs.

When first walking into the studio, the of the room is misleading for such a well reviewed place on yelp. However, once looking around it is noticeable that there are three main rooms other than the lobby: he floor yoga room,which is a hardwood floor where a multitude of different classes take place,the suspension yoga room, where nearly all gym routines exercise classes take place, and the spin room, which is filled with over 20 stationary bikes.

In the lobby of the studio, there is a complimentary boutique. It is filled with yogi shirts and leggings, along with elephant pants and different style yoga mats. They also have bags and jewelry to accessorize with. Every week there is a unique kind of bracelet sold at a low price that represents a Buddhist beliefs. This is all just an addition to the culture they spread through the studio.

Instead of a normal floor yoga class, the first one I participated in was suspension yoga, which is a form of yoga only using a hammock. Many places refer to it by another name, such as aerial or anti-gravity yoga. It puts a twist on regular floor yoga and incorporates the traditional yoga poses with dancing and pilates.

Since only seven participants can attend per class, the suspension yoga can be split between seven people and costs about 17 dollars per class. The studio accommodates for students if they want to schedule a certain time, high schoolers can schedule a class directly after school once (or more) a week.

During suspension yoga, one kind and uplifting instructor, Michelle Cash, does a wonderful job in keeping the class uplifting and encouraging. By using such optimistic and complimentary language she helps raise the spirits of struggling attendees. The class begins with her telling the participants to clear their heads of everything, good and bad, to just be in the moment.

In the class Cash says constant reminders that the inversions she will be instructing might not come easily and that it is okay to stop if your body feels uncomfortable or out of depth. This is an extremely important reminder because many times stubborn participants push themselves beyond their limits. If an instructor feels that a student is in need of assistance they will first demonstrate how to do the pose, before then going to help the student.

After all of the stretches and exercise, the cool-down portion of the lesson, Shavasana, begins. During Shavasana, all the students get into their hammocks and curl up, hanging in the air. It happens during the last five or ten minutes of class, usually after a harder set of inversions. Cash plays ocean sounds as she walks around the room, spraying a calming incense and lightly swaying the swings.

Overall, Fusion Fitness and O2 Yoga grants a great experience for an advanced or beginning student. It continues to bring stress relief and activity to its members. Many of the participants will truly recommend it for anybody, beginner or not, looking for a place to keep them active and/or relaxed.

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Einav Cohen is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. She is the managing editor for the school newspaper, president of MSD's Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society and recording secretary of MSD's National Honors Society. Einav was born in Israel and moved to Parkland Florida as a child where she enjoys writing and learning about law.

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