Born in the Nineties, Yogilates is a fusion of Hatha yoga and Pilates which blends the best of both disciplines into one cohesive exercise. Who wouldn't aspire to long, lean, flexible limbs, hard-core abs and superb bodily alignment? Well, the jazzy sounding practise of Yogilates, promises all that and more.
The emphasis here is on postural alignment and core stability, Yogilates class mixes the mat-work and floor exercises of Pilates with standing postures and other poses found within Hatha yoga. Studio classes last around 75 minutes and are often taught to the sound of soothing music. Your teacher will lead you through the moves from the front of the class, making the most of the mirrors to make sure everyone is making the right moves. As the class progresses the postures become more challenging, eventually finishing with some deep relaxation exercises and meditation.
Pulling all those weird and wonderful shapes and the deep stretches of Yogilates, mean it's important to wear non-restrictive clothing, generally a loose, comfortable top and trousers are suggested, or if you're in shape and happy to show it, lycra is just as good.
Whilst Yogilates has a lot of fans, there are some who say it waters down two disciplines which have their own distinct effects and uses. It is however highly recommended for adults in need of gentle exercise; post-natal mothers or those recovering from recent surgery for example.
Yogilates was created in 1997 by Jonathan Urla, a personal trainer and Pilates instructor, who recognised the benefits of the two disciplines after taking a yoga class directly after a Pilates workout. He found his yoga session to be easier, as his body and spine were properly aligned following the Pilates and he was already connected to his centre. He believed the benefits of Yoga could be improved upon by bringing precise alignment and core strength derived from Pilates to the postures of yoga 'for added safety and a greater transformative effect'.