Yogalates is a blend of yoga and pilates formulated by Louise Soloman of Byron Bay, Australia. Yogalates is an exercise practice melding the best of timeless yogic spiritual practice with the grounding and reformative dynamics of Pilates.
Yoga has a timeless history of increasing emotional well being, focusing the mind on the breath and movement in a very precise way. This practice can grow to be a very strong spiritual practice for some people. Pilates, started by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s, is a practice of muscular skeletal exercises and is the result of years of human experimentation to achieve body development and physical training. This system isolates and works on specific muscle groups.
Yogalates is a movement practice that lengthens and strengthens all the major muscle groups. The body will become streamlined rather than bulky through this particular type of exercise. Working on the “core muscles”, this will promote strength in the postural muscles (the stabilizers). Promoting awareness of the spine and protecting this area from injury, while at the same time supporting the internal organs, a student will find good and straight posture develops over time.
Yogalates concentrates on the breath in these classes. The Pilates chest breathing is included to help lungs to grow in capacity and the student will gain stamina and endurance. This type of breathing activates the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, which in turn protect and strengthen the lower back. Also toning the tummy, trimming the waist and helping to grow core stability.
Many pranayama (breathing exercises) are used, some to give the body energy and invigorate the practitioner, others are used to calm and quieten the nervous system, in turn promoting relaxation and the loss of tension.
Yogalates is a good practice for someone needing to strengthen their back or someone with arthritis or osteoporosis. Women who have just had a baby also will find yogalates helps them. Yogalates is good for increasing general tone of the body, whilst also improving inner calm and general wellbeing.