Yogalates - The combination of yoga and Pilates

Can’t decide between taking a yoga class or a Pilates class? Then why not try Yogalates – an exciting fusion of these two forms of exercise?

What is Yogalates?

It is thought that personal trainer and Pilates instructor Jonathan Urla created Yogalates back in 1997. The idea behind this exercise system was to combine the focus on flexibility and spirituality from yoga with the deeper muscle work and emphasis on the postural muscles found in Pilates.

Breath work is an important feature of Yogalates and yogic breathing techniques are taught. Reducing stress by connecting with the spiritual is another important focus of this form of exercise.

Yogalates classes are offered in gyms or you can simply invest in a DVD and try out this fusion of Pilates and Yoga at home.

The difference between Yoga and Pilates

Pilates – Joseph Pilates devised Pilates in the early 1900s as a way to build strength in the postural muscles and prevent injury. With Pilates exercises each pose is combined with movements of the limbs.

Yoga – Yoga is an ancient Indian spiritual practice that harnesses the power of the mind, body and spirit - flexibility is the main focus. With the yoga poses you move from one static pose to another without any movement of the limbs.

The benefits of Yogalates

Yogalates is an excellent form of exercise for anyone who suffers with back pain as it helps to strengthen the postural muscles, this also makes it helpful for people who have weak abdominal muscles, suffer incontinence, have poor circulation or poor posture.

It is also ideal for anyone who suffers from osteoporosis or arthritis. Finally Yogalates is also a good form of exercise for women who have recently given birth – although it is not recommended for pregnant women.

Yogalates can help to:

  • Tone the muscles but not build bulk
  • Build strength
  • Improve flexibility
  • Improve concentration
  • Improve breathing and therefore stamina
  • Improve posture
  • Improve balance and co-ordination
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased vitality

Yogalates is also a good form of exercise for older people who may be put off by yoga and Pilates in their pure forms. Yoga requires a lot of flexibility and Pilates a lot of abdominal strength and for some people this can be intimidating. Yogalates is a much gentler form of exercise and for many people this makes it more accessible.