Building a better "you" with Yogalates

August 31, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
As I lie in SaVasana, in preparation for my first Yogalates class. I already sense something different about the experience. Usually I'm an Iyengar kind of yogi, but for this practice. creator and teacher Louise Solomon tells us we will be working slowly and systematically through every joint and limb.

There will be no pressure to strike perfect poses, or to move from one asana to another. I'll need to dial down my "to do" button, release my need to achieve, and surrender to a pace that is slower than I usually strive for. But, as I will later discover, slow and steady is even better at ironing out every kink.

It is the gentleness and the detailed focus on mobilising, stabilising and strengthening the body in your own time that attracts everyone from teenagers to grandmothers to Yogalates. "Yogalates is described as a meeting place of East and West because it effectively merges the ancient practice of yoga from the East with the core-stabilising, posture-enhancing dynamics of Pilates from the West," says Louise, who has practiced yoga for 25 years and Pilates for 21 years.

In 1994, she hit on a special blend of yoga and Pilates and trademarked it in 2000. She has since put out a series of DVDs that topped fitness charts in the UK, lectured on core stability to the Queensland branch of the former Yoga Teachers Association of Australia, developed a Yogalates teacher training course, and taught internationally.

Nicole Woodward, who has been teaching Yogalates for eight years in Sydney at Body Awakenings, says that although she had practiced Iyengar, vinyasa and Bikram yoga, she found that she didn't have core strength. "Yogalates made every pose feel diferent," she says. "It also stabilised my lower back, something a lot of clients tell me is the same for them."

For the entire day after the class, I do feel a sense of being at one with a body and a mind that has been eased by a practice that is more gentle and, in some ways, more thorough, than the one I typically revert to at home.

I am reminded of spiritual author, Ravi Ravindra's, advice: "It is useful to study different traditions in order to be free of attachment to any one way of expressing what is beyond expression."
Helen Hawkes, is a freelance writer and Iyengar Yoga practitioner based in Byron Bay, NSW.

Yogalates offer Teacher Training courses, Health Retreats (taught by Louise) in Tuscany Italy, 8 Yogalates DVD's and classes taught across the globe. For more details please see the Yogalates website,