Yogalates - Functional form of movement or fad on the fitness menu?
Yogalates – No not a new funky style of coffee, this is a comprehensive movement series integrating Yoga & Pilates together.
A popular movement series gaining momentum world wide, Yogalates is fast becoming a popular form of exercise for the everyday person.
So, is it just that - an exercise class or is there more to it than the froth you see at the top?
Yoga is an ancient eastern tradition focused on brining unity to the physical, emotional, intellectual & spiritual parts of oneself through breathing, asana (postures) & meditation.
Pilates was developed by the German born Joseph Pilates as a rehabilitative tool & focuses on controlled movements to build strength within the body, improve flexibility & develop endurance.
It can be argued that both Yoga & Pilates bring benefits to the body & mind through incorporating mindful movement with the breath bringing unity & awareness to all parts of oneself.
As you know, it is my passion to work with individuals & professionals who are juggling it all in today’s busy lifestyle. My mission is to help inspire the everyday professional to Revitalise & Re-energise to take hold of their health & fitness through functional movement - Yoga & Pilates.
With my mission true to heart, I personally love the integration of Yoga & Pilates to form the more trendy named Yogalates.
I don’t look at Yogalates as a fad or craze but rather as a means of introducing functional movement into our daily exercise & wellness regime.
Through functional movement I mean performing movements based on ‘real world’ situational biomechanics. Where we are performing simple movements that we would use in our daily lives to work across multiple planes, muscles & joints throughout the body.
Think about how many muscles a new mother uses in one action; bending down to pick up her baby, then holding the baby on her hip whilst reaching for a glass out of the cupboard above her. This takes LOADS of awareness & strength right!?
If we can begin to develop ‘healthy & strong’ movement patterns in Yogalates, similar to the moments this mother performs regularly, we will decrease our risk of injury.
We have become the kings & queens of multi-tasking. Through the regular practice of Yogalates, where we are working multiple muscle groups AND bringing awareness & mindfulness into class, through regular practice, we will eventually bring that awareness & mindfulness into the activities we perform in our personal lives.
In a period when the modern day worker & parent is time poor, stressed, tired & overworked, Yogalates is an effective form of functional movement. During class we can focus on specifically strengthening, lengthening & developing the physical body whilst also taking time out for ourselves away from the hustle of our daily lives.
In bringing focus to our pranayama (breath work) throughout Yogalates, we are not only moving & exercising the body, but we also bringing mindfulness into our days. Through repetition, eventually that pattern will become learned to bring mindfulness into our daily lives outside of our regular class
In a Yogalates class, not only are we physically exercising & moving the body in ways that can assist us with injury prevention & rehabilitation but we are also taking time out for ourselves to draw on the fundamentals of yoga to bring unity to the body, breath & mind.
My belief is that through developing strength in the body, we develop strength within the mind to help us to deal with whatever life throws at us. A Yogalates class is an effective way to develop the muscles & bones but also develops the mind.
Lets look at the common ailments we are experiencing as a result of our desk bound, stress crazed, ipad obsessed lives such as Ipaditis - Yes this really does exist!
Think headaches, foggy brain, tight tense shoulders up around your ears, chest rounding forward, chin poking out as far as the Mac screen – ouch I can feel it now.
Also look at Lazy butt syndrome - Yes this exists too!
Think tight hips with lower back pain, sitting in car seats & chairs all day, slouching on the lounge at home with incorrect posture & lazy butt muscles, yep I feel myself experiencing these symptoms right now sitting typing this..!
Before you call the Doctor– get yourself to a Yogalates class.
It will help reduce these ailments by increasing heart health through high repetition functional movements, strengthening the muscles & bones we need to strengthen (ie. upper back, glutes & core) stretch the ones we need to stretch (ie. chest, neck, hamstrings) & all while taking time out for ourselves to breathe.
One of the best parts of a Yogalates class is after all your hard work of strengthening & stretching, you can still enjoy a few moments of relaxation in Savasana at the end of class to soak up the benefits of your practice.
So if this is a crazy fitness fad, then this is a fad I am willing to add to my permanent wellness menu for the many benefits this functional form of movement brings into our lives.
Go & get yourself to a class & experience the energy, strength & state of calm that I experience post class, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Plus, if you allow a little more time for you, you may also enjoy a few extra moments to sit at a local cafe, soak up the benefits of class & enjoy a latte post class!
Wishing you health & happiness,