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Exhale, known for Core Fusion, launches a yoga program


Exhale Gansevoort Park
The yoga studio at Exhale Gansevoort Park

At Exhale, Core Fusion classes are king. And yoga has played second fiddle. Until now.

Tomorrow, the popular spa-and-fitness brand, with locations in ten cities (and on one Caribbean island), launches a yoga program.

It’s an interesting fitness development considering the mystery around Exhale’s yoga offerings—classes have been inconsistent location to location, sparse on the schedule, and stylistically quirky (e.g., Music Flow Yoga).

The launch of an Exhale yoga program begs the question, is the powerhouse barre-focused brand joining the yoga bandwagon or merely capitalizing on it? (Exhale’s hour-long yoga classes are $25 in New York City.) With more competition on the barre scene than ever, is the company diversifying its fitness portfolio?

Erin Jacques Exhale Yoga Director
Erin Jacques, Exhale’s Yoga Director

The heart of the new yoga program, developed by Exhale and Core Fusion cofounder, Elisabeth Halfpapp, and Erin Jacques, a popular Exhale instructor and its new National Director of Yoga, are five vinyasa classes—Absolute Beginner and Yin Yoga, as well as Exhale Slow Flow, Exhale Vinyasa Flow, and Music Yoga Flow, which already has a substantial following, explains Halfpapp.

The company will also make more of its affiliations with celebrity yogis like Shiva Rae and Annie Carpenter, who teach at Exhale Venice in California, and David Maggone, who leads packed classes at two Boston Exhale studios. It’s unclear why Exhale has never included them in their branding previously. The relationship has always looked more tenant and landlord. But this talent could certainly boost the program’s credibility.

Meanwhile, Jacques is grooming a team of cross-trained instructors. The new Exhale yoga teacher training (30 hours for those with certification, and 250 for those without) includes three mandatory hours of Core Fusion. “We want to create a continuity of teachers from barre to yoga and yoga to barre—an awesome dynamic flow between Core Fusion and yoga,” she says.

Expect more cross-pollination, says Jacques, about the new yoga program. We’ll be looking to see how it germinates. —Melisse Gelula

To celebrate the launch, Exhale is hosting free yoga classes throughout September 22. Visit www.exhalespa.com or www.facebook.com/exhalespa for more information.