Yogalates | A cross between yoga and Pilates

What is Yogalates?

Yogalates is one of the latest trends in the world of fitness.

A cross between yoga and Pilates, yogalates focuses mainly on the flow of movement from poses in yoga to those in Pilates. The proponents of yogalates call this amalgamation of the two most widely acclaimed fitness techniques "beautiful and surreal".

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This fusion of the two fitness disciplines attempts to bring together the benefits and the fluid movements of each of the individual disciplines. Though yogalates is essentially two different things combined together, but it has its own characteristic movements, which when approached in the right way, could be superior to the movements of either yoga or Pilates.

Yoga is a traditional Indian physical and spiritual discipline that attempts to bring together physical, mental, and spiritual faculties to promote a sense of balance and well being. While Pilates is a strictly physical workout that emerged in the West, it is much more recent as compared to yoga. Yet, there is a distinct similarly between the two, which makes practitioners easy to combine the essence of the two disciplines to form a theoretically superior one.

Benefits of yogalates

Yogalates is a discipline that offers the combined benefits of yoga and Pilates. The fluidity of movements in both yoga and Pilates are replicated in this discipline. There is focus on the breathing as well as on the transition of one movement to another. Here are some of the key benefits of yogalates.

  • As with both yoga and Pilates, yogalates is also a great way to lose some weight. You can add it to your daily fitness and fat loss routine. The movements and the breathing in yogalates are specifically designed to aid weight loss and burn fat.
  • The specific postures and poses of yogalates can help in the toning of the body muscles. Along with weight loss and fat burn, this discipline is great for toning muscles, improving strength and stamina, and finally, strengthening your core.
  • Since yogalates combines the movements of yoga and Pilates, it increases the range of motion and also improves overall flexibility of the joints.
  • Apart from its other health benefits, yogalates can also help improve the symptoms of arthritis. The movements in this discipline are very refined and fluid, allowing for greater flexibility in the joints. The more you move your joints, the more lubricated they become. Though there is no recorded evidence of it, proponents of yogalates believe that the discipline can also improve functioning of the endocrine system, thus helping those with diabetes.

Difference between yogalates and yoga

There are two main differences between yoga and yogalates.

  • Yoga is static: Since yoga involves getting into a pose or posture and holding it for some time, it tends to be a little static.

    However, since yogalates combines yoga with Pilates, it has more fluid movements and is more action packed.
  • Yogalates is dynamic: In yogalates, you move your body and get into a pose, and then you begin to perform toning exercises. This is not only good for weight loss, but is also ideal for toning your muscles and strengthening your body.

Drawbacks of yogalates

Though yogalates claims to bring together the benefits of both the disciplines, the fact is that you end up losing the individual benefits of yoga and Pilates. For instance, yogalates is not a spiritual discipline and has many less therapeutic benefits than yoga alone.

While the proponents of yogalates suggest that the discipline can help strengthen the core, it clearly has lesser benefits in core strengthening as compared to Pilates. It may help increase flexibility, but both yoga and Pilates when performed separately are better for increasing muscle and joint flexibility. Yogalates also has lesser benefits in meditation because the characteristic of meditation is in the static nature of the discipline of yoga. With yogalates, it is impossible to reap in the spiritual and the mental benefits that yoga and meditation have to offer.

Duration of yogalates

There is no specifically prescribed duration of yogalates. If you want, you can perform it every day. However, it is best if you use yogalates only to supplement your overall workout routine. Most people perform these exercises about twice or thrice a week. Others perform it 1 to 1.5 hrs a day, every day. The choice is entirely yours. However, as with any other fitness routine, it is important to avoid overdoing these exercises as well.

Yogalates for beginners

Beginners often find yogalates a little more action packed, especially if they had been exposed to yoga only. Since yogalates can be used for weight loss, you can lose about 2 to 3 inches in a month if you perform your exercises regularly. Your muscles get sore for the first few weeks, especially if you were not performing any physical exercises before this. You will also experience flexibility improvement as you continue to perform the exercises.

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