What is Yogalates™?
Yoga dates back to around 3000BC, and aims to create union between body and mind to bring about overall wellbeing. It enhances strength, stamina, aerobic capacity, flexibility, balance and mental clarity. Pilates is a system of exercise founded by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, with the goal of perfecting body development through isolating specific muscle groups, particularly the postural muscles. There’s much synergy between the two philosophies which makes blending them very natural, such as correct breathing and mindfulness – think of it as East meets West in a lovely dance.
Yogalates™ develops strength and flexibility in all the major muscle groups of the body, developing streamlined slenderness rather than bulk. Particular attention is paid to building strength, endurance and control in the body’s core postural muscles. This enhances awareness of the position of the pelvis and spine within movement, protecting the spine against injury and promoting good posture. Resistance bands are used in Yogalates™ to replicate the resistance training of Pilates machines, excellent for strengthening, lengthening and balancing the musculature of the body. The breath is emphasised as a point of focus throughout the practice, developing mental clarity. Yogalates™ enhances stamina, flexibility, balance and calms the mind and spirit.
What does typical class look like?
Yogalates is done on a yoga mat in lying, seated and standing positions. We uses a number of props to support the body or bring us deeper into poses, such as straps, therabands, fitballs, bolsters and blankets.
Class always begins with a short relaxation phase using simple pranayama (breathwork) to centre ourselves and engage the mind with the body and the breath. We continue with a warm up phase that limbers the muscles and joints of the body, preparing them for stronger work. The major portion of the class is dedicated to strengthening and stretching all the major muscles groups of the body, moving the body through all planes of movement: flexion, extension, side-bending and twisting to work the body evenly. We complete the class with a deeper relaxation, often incorporating a guided relaxation or more breathwork.
At the end of each session we finish traditionally repeating the Sanskrit word Namaste, which is commonly translated as “the divine in me recognises the divine in you”. Mutual respect is acknowledged between the teacher and the student.
The Origins of Yogalates™
Yogalates was founded by Louise Solomon, who formulated this method after discovering the benefits gained from Pilates after rehabilitating an injury she sustained from a strong Yoga adjustment. Louise started integrating Pilates into the Yoga room and has continued to teach this method here in Australia and abroad ever since. Her work has culminated in the development of a government accredited teacher trainer course, in order to meet the demand for Yogalates all over the globe. Louise has also worked as a personal trainer and has lectured on core stability at Southern Cross University.
For more information see www.yogalates.com.au