WHERE EAST MEETS WEST- ORIGINS
'Yoga is a practical method for making one's life purposeful, useful and noble' Patanjali
Solomon YogalatesTM also known as the YogalatesTM method is a comprehensive exercise system which successfully fuses the practices of Yoga and Pilates. It is the brain child of Louise Solomon and took birth in the creative healing hub of the Byron Shire NSW Australia. Since its inception Yogalates has steadily gained popularity and an International reputation as being a method which makes the disciplines of Yoga and Pilates easily available to anyone. It is offered as classes, personalised sessions, workshops, teacher training programs, presentations, retreats and through the popular range of Yogalates DVDs available worldwide.
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. The origins of Yoga date back to around 3000BC India. In the 21st century it is more popular than ever and has developed into many specific styles; however at the heart of each approach is the emphasis of creating union with oneself. Yoga can enhance strength, stamina, flexibility, balance and mental clarity. Through developing a conscious awareness of the body, mind, breath and life force (prana) it has the ability to be deeply relaxing and health enhancing.
Pilates was founded by the late German born Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. He initially combined yoga and body building techniques to overcome childhood sickness. After regaining full health he continued to develop and refine his ideas later discovering that by using the stabilising muscles (namely the deep abdominals) and resistance work (initially through springs attached to hospital beds) he was able to successfully assist those recovering from injury and illness. The Pilates method has stood the test of time and long after Joseph’s passing it has continued to flourish and grow. It is known globally as a system of muscular skeletal exercises that augment sporting activities, assist in injury rehabilitation and supports those with back problems through re-educating the body’s postural muscles to create a very safe and strong foundation for movement.
Both Yoga and Pilates have changed and been adapted over the course of history. Likewise Yogalates is an ever evolving method which embraces the latest research and methodology on functional movement, back care and exercise therapeutics. In the teacher training programs a personalized approach is emphasized whereby the practice is modified to suit the client. Everybody is unique so individuals are encouraged to work at their pace and level, customized exercises may be advised and time for rest and relaxation is offered.
A regular Yogalates session will include exercises and poses (asana) to cultivate strength, stamina, stability and flexibility with particular attention paid to building tone in the deeper postural “core” muscles. These protect the spine against injury, support the internal organs and foster pelvic and spinal awareness to promote good posture. Equipment such as blocks, resistance bands (which replicate the resistance training of the Pilates machines), weights, fit balls and foam rollers may also be utilised to further enhance strength and balance.
Poses (asana) are one of eight limbs in Yoga. The other seven include aspects such as cultivation of life force (pranayama) often known as breathing exercises, meditative practices to quieten the mind and develop concentration and ethical guidelines to support appropriate conduct both on and off the mat so that the practice is both self nurturing and in turn also benefitting others. In Yogalates the eight limbs of yoga are implemented making it a holistic approach which aims to bring about balance and unity in body, mind and spirit.
Yogalates is suitable for all ages and is a very safe and accessible method making it ideal for sufferers of back pain, arthritis, and osteoporosis and is particularly beneficial for post natal women. As an exercise modality it is excellent for developing general tone and fitness, while also encouraging a connection with self to soothe the nervous system, release stress, aid relaxation and instil inner calm and overall wellbeing.
At the end of each Yogalates session we finish traditionally by all repeating the Sanskrit word NAMASTE ……..which is a greeting used in India and Nepal. It has many definitions the more common one being “The Divine in me recognises the divine in you”……………Mutual respect is acknowledged between the teacher and student.