Yogilates was created in 1997 by Jonathan Urla, a certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer. It was designed to integrate the Pilates methodology into the practice of Hatha yoga for a more complete workout.
If you’ve ever taken a Pilates class, you know that it combines a series of exercises that focus on the deep torso (or core) postural muscles, such as the abdominals and lower back. Regular students develop stronger, more toned abdominals as well as better posture and balance.
Yogilates is a perfect addition to yoga practice, as the main principles of Pilates are also to focus on breath, concentration, flexibility and flow. Every Yogilates exercise is built around eight principles:
Alignment – We make the most of our body’s strengths, counteracting its weaknesses, and correcting its imbalances. This requires that we pay consistent attention to our body while performing the movements, and is more important than any other principle.
Breathing – Most exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Yogilates.
Concentration – By bringing full attention to the exercise and doing it with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.
Flowing movements – Exercises are done in a fluid, flowing manner. Fluidity, grace and ease are goals applied to all exercises.
Control – Every exercise is done with complete muscular control.
Centering – Each movement flows from a strong core center, which is the foundation for all movements. The core is also thought to be the energetic center of the body.
Relaxation – By paying close attention, we learn how much energy we are using, or misusing in the form of tension in the body.
With regular practice, students progress safely and quickly to a stronger, more flexible body and relaxed state of being. Don’t shy away from a Yogilates class if you’ve never tried Pilates. In Yogilates there is a progression for each level of difficulty, adapting each movement to the abilities of each individual. Remember that you don’t have to wait to be stronger or more flexible in order to receive the benefits of the positions offered.
Try a Yogilates class at Yoga Fresh in Woodbury or through your local Community Education Center.
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