Origins of Yogalates
30+ years in the wisdom of teaching and developing Yogalates
“a fusion way ahead of its time”
In the current climate of fitness Yoga is at the forefront of popularity and discovery. Conversations are constantly heard “what type of Yoga do you practise” a smorgasbord is at our fingertips, lucky us!
Yogalates is but one an awarded one with accolades such as the accredited teacher training being used as an example of best practise in the accreditation arena of VETAB. The DVD series topped the UK health and fitness charts wining an award for enervation 2001.
Best described as a meeting place of east and west, effectively merging the ancient practice of Yoga from the east and posture enhancing dynamics of Pilates from the west. Louise Solomon first developed Yogalates organically for her own body. Her experience of injury in the Yoga room as a fledgling student led her to the Pilates room that led her back to the Yoga room; With a fundamental knowledge of core and function that had her yearning for more her body and mind had experienced a body awakening that was unprecedented at that time. Louise then trained in Ashtanga Yoga full time for one year and naturally applied her Pilates training the birth of Yogalates had begun.
Working from the inside out, Yogalates™ improves body awareness and alignment to help develop proper movement patterns that we use in our daily lives, and focuses on a practice designed for “Western” bodies. Designed to awaken and strengthen the subtle and structural core muscles through Pilates based exercises while incorporating the asana (postures), philosophy and wisdom of Yoga.
The importance of Breath is the ultimate focus in each and every class; the ease of breath, ease of pose and ease of mind enhances a mindful practice. Each session is started with body breath awareness “Savasana” as you discover what Louise terms as your functional resting breath “ a resting core”. The class is then layered to deepen core awareness recruitment and strength as the complexity of poses are built and explored through the many levers and loads applied.
The use of resistance bands are functionally used in an array of exercises that stretch every section of the feet, ankles, legs and hips with rotations and resistance (which replicate some of the exercises on the Pilates machines). These help open the hip joints as well as warm the thigh muscles. The use of the bands also creates a suction effect deep inside the joint that enhances the secretion of synovial fluid and is a great preparation for the complex standing poses of asana.
Through guided cues that aid the recruitment of core strength in static holds, slow flow movements, inspirational vini sequencing, foundational standing and balancing postures, you learn to balance from your core with ease and efficiency of breath as you fine-tune the core of body.
The understanding of the common body types is bought to the forefront of every pose blended through the class structures unique to Yogalates. Supports the individual’s nervous system the alignment of diaphragm and needs in practise. Finally the climax of the class explores a soothing heartfelt Savasana.
Thus structurally and ethically sound in its application to movement therapy. The method supports a safe and functional approach. It embodies all levels of fitness by offering progressions and an array of modifications for participants. That encourages them to listen to the wisdom of their own bodies in order to find their own personal footprint in practise making the Yoga mat even more access-able to the greater demographic. Both mind and body are primed for deep immersion into self through the journey of life on and off the Yoga Mat cultivating a mindful state of awareness.
Louise is joined by her daughter Crystal Solomon Lebars, a physiotherapist born and bred in the Yogalates lineage etc. With their combined skill set the Yogalates method is ever evolving with in the parameters of movement science and function.
Nicole Whiteman, who has been teaching Yogalates for 17 years in Sydney was founder of Body Awakenings and now runs Inspya Me, says that although she had practised Iyengar, vinyasa and Bikram Yoga, she found that she didn’t have core strength. “Yogalates made every pose feel different,” she says. “It also stabilised my lower back, something a lot of clients tell me is the same for them.” Nicole now works alongside Louise and leads Yogalates Teacher Trainings.
Louise has run benchmark Teacher Trainings in Yogalates for the past 21 years and has 30 years in the wisdom of teaching. The course material was used as an example of best practise by VETAB (Vocational education training accreditation board). Louise also ran a RTO (registered training organisation). Still to this day Louise uses the modalities that support the student through their individual learning curve of knowledge.
Meet the founder Louise Solomon
"Yoga is a practical method for making one's life purposeful, useful and noble" Patanjali