Frequently Asked Questions
What is Yogilates?
Yogilates® was created in 1997 by certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer Jonathan Urla. It is a method of exercise that integrates the core strengthening and alignment principles of Pilates with the practice of hatha yoga. Jonathan has also included knowledge of exercise science, dance medicine, and sound bio-mechanics into the system of Yogilates for a truly complete, effective, and safe regimen that can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or exercise background.
Designed as a unique style of yoga, Yogilates begins on the floor utilizing awareness of the breath and alignment to prepare you mentally and physically for your practice. You then perform a thorough warm-up for the body on the floor integrating the core strengthening and spine lengthening of Pilates matwork with hatha yoga breathwork and essential poses. Sequences of exercises are carefully planned to prepare you properly as you progress from one exercise to the next. From the floor, your rise smoothly to standing for Sun Salutations and a Vinyasa yoga flow of more challenging yoga poses that will invigorate your body and soul. All Yogilates classes finish with restorative poses and ending relaxation, called Shavasana.
Yogilates is designed to be a complete and efficient system that contains all the benefits of both disciplines in one regimen. Regular practice improves your performance in all activities from sports to everyday chores. In addition, it gives you the physical and mental skills to achieve peak performance while reducing your risk of injury. With full routines from beginner to advanced, Yogilates works for everbody, teaching you a fun workout you can enjoy doing the rest of your life. Relax, receive, and renew - this is the future of fitness!
For more on Yogilates, please purchase Jonathan's book: Yogilates – Integrating Yoga and Pilates for Complete Fitness, Strength, and Flexibility, published by HarperCollins and available here at yogilates.com or in most bookstores or online at amazon.com and bn.com.
2. Who Created Yogilates?
Yogilates was created by certified Pilates instructor and Vinyasa yoga practitioner Jonathan Urla. For a more in-depth biography, see the page about Jonathan Urla.
3. What is our mission ?
Our mission is to add to the physical and spiritual health and fitness of our community.
4. What is hatha yoga ?
The ancient discipline of hatha yoga is at least 5,000 years old. We know this because there are postures carved in stones that have been carbon-dated to this epoch. Yoga means union, or communion with the divine spirit. More literally, to join one's will with the all-encompassing universe and a higher purpose. Hatha is one of the Eight Limbs of yoga and represents the rigorous physical discipline that is required to achieve this union. Traditionally practiced on a mat or carpet, it involves hundreds of positions, called asanas, that require varying degrees of flexibility and strength, and includes breathing exercises and meditation as well. The practice of hatha yoga, that was developed thousands of years ago in ancient India, has evolved into many different styles today, yet the basic vocabulary of postures remain the same. We believe that while it is not necessary to chant, fast, or read Sanskrit to practice hatha yoga, seated meditation is an integral part of the discipline and should not be left out of the practice. Raja Yoga, which is the art of meditation, or mastery of the mind, can be practiced by anyone by simply sitting quietly and silencing the mind. This allows for true relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit. Studies have shown even after a few attempts at meditation, people improve their concentration and attention skills. With regular practice, meditation improves overall performance in life and leads to transformation inside and out.
We believe that one of the greatest health benefits from the practice of hatha yoga is an increase in one's awareness. Placing ones' full attention on basic actions like breathing and holding good posture can teach a person a tremendous amount about themselves. For example, you will learn just how much energy you are using in the form of tension in the body for no good reason. Although most exercise will help relieve stress temporarily, the practice of yoga will help you identify and release the deeper sources of stress and imbalance. The physical and spiritual bodies are connected and it is one's reflexive actions, or reactions, to physical and emotional stress that creates unnecessary tension. Yoga encourages you to listen to your body and provides time to really relax and rejuvenate your mind and sprit. Our approach is not to try to push beyond what your body tells you it can do, but to work consistently, with full attention, and to observe without judgment. Patience and steady practice will lead m ost people to gradual improvement and to a greater understanding of how to identify and even correct their body's imbalances without straining.
5. What is Pilates?
Pilates (pronounced puh-la-tees) is a method of exercise named after European fitness guru, Joseph H. Pilates. Born in Germany in 1880, Joseph early on devoted himself to fitness and taught himself to do gymnastics, diving, skiing, and boxing. As a young man, he worked in England as a circus performer and boxer. During WWI he was imprisoned on the Isle of Man with other German prisoners of war and took it upon himself to help rehabilitate the injured and sick and generally boost the morale of the whole camp. Though the details of his imprisonment are not known, it can be presumed that his knowledge of body mechanics, his inventiveness with regards to exercise equipment, and powerful belief in the healing power of movement would have helped keep himself and others healthy during hard conditions. Returning to Germany after the war, he soon became disenchanted with the task of training the German military and took off for America to seek his fortune. Opening up his own studio in New York, he and his wife Clara introduced their revolutionary style of fitness to the United States in 1926. An ingenious inventor, he created apparatus and various pieces of exercise equipment, most notably the Universal Reformer, to help train his elite clientele. But his original technique was based on his matwork exercises, which Joe called "Contrology", reflecting one of his main beliefs that the control over the body's intrinsic muscles was essential for better physical performance and health. Joseph Pilates attracted many famous dancers and performers who needed to rehabilitate from work related injuries. Among his clients were George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Jacques D'Amboise, and Jerome Robbins. Since his death in 1968, the Pilates method has expanded with the master instructors who continue to teach his highly specific exercises. Pilates technique is most recognized for improving flexibility of the spine, strengthening the core, and developing better control o f one’s movements for added stability and balance. As with the complementary sports of gymnastics, dancing and diving, Pilates requires focus and control of the whole body all the time. Key elements include integrating the breath with movement, articulating the spine, and stabilizing the pelvis and shoulders for added control and safety. Another key element of Pilates technique is the emphasis on linking movements together in a graceful and flowing way. This develops coordination and concentration and calls on the practitioner to be actively thinking about what and how they are exercising. Whether on the specialized apparatus or while doing the matwork, one is always trying to work from the center, or the "hidden powerhouse". Unlike other methods, the emphasis is not on multiple repetitions or duration, but on high quality movement of an elegantly sufficient amount. The goal is to create a balanced body that is agile and structurally sound, rather than adding bulk through burning muscles. One is encouraged to work with the body, not against it and achieve more from less effort. Top athletes train in Pilates to improve performance and rehabilitate from injury. Actors and models use it to attain longer and leaner bodies. Every one who trains in Pilates will improve their posture, breathing, and alignment. The mind as well as the body will greatly benefit and you will feel lifted and stronger from the inside out.
6. Will Yogilates help me lose weight?
Most definitely. In fact, for the healthy person who can't seem to get those last 5 or 10 pounds off with regular exercise, Yogilates can be the final answer. Being a "whole body exercise", Yogilates incorporates all the muscles of the body and thus recruits muscle fibers that aren’t usually engaged in traditional exercise. Moreover, by working on coordination of the breath with movement and increasing awareness, students learn to let go of unnecessary tension that can keep excess muscle and fat on the body. The result is a reshaping of the body that is longer and leaner, and a mind that is better at recognizing stress and it's harmful effects on diet and self-esteem. Coupled with a sensible cardiovascular program, Yogilates is a complete fitness regime for weight control. It would take the place of weights and other resistance machines that exacerbate imbalances and build bulky muscles and do nothing for the relaxing the mind and body.
7. I'm a competitive athlete (marathons, mountain biker, skier, etc.) Why should I train in Yogilates?
As an athlete, you are constantly looking to improve your performance, reduce injury, and relieve stress. There is no other single fitness regimen that helps accomplish these goals as well as Yogilates. The benefits are clearly evident after only a few sessions and when incorporated into planned training schedules, can lead to more consistent peak performances. The reasons are scientific and complex, but can be summarized by looking at the five central parts of Yogilates training; the breath, core strength, flexibility, alignment, and mental focus. These are essential elements of better performance and are often compromised from training intensely in a sport. Measured improvements in lung capacity, speed, endurance, strength, agility, and confidence are reasons why many athletes are utilizing Yogilates training with winning results.
8. I'm looking for a workout that will tone my body but won't bulk me up. Can Yogilates help?
Yogilates is the ideal training method for women who want to tone their abdominals, hips and thighs, but don’t want to get bigger or bulky muscles. Created by a dancer, it is designed to train the whole body and mind for optimum performance. With Yogilates you’ll flatten your abs, isolate your buttocks and inner thighs, and tone your arms while learning to hold yourself from your center, breath correctly, and improve flexibility. The effectiveness of Yogilates has been noted in dozens of fashion and fitness magazines and models and actresses swear by its results.
9. I'm looking for an exercise system that isn’t too straining or difficult so I can do it every day without interfering with my work?
Yogilates is a welcome exercise program for adults who want an effective, yet relaxing form of exercise. We all know that our work and daily modern life creates a great deal of stress, both physically and mentally. Yogilates combines the therapeutic elements of Pilates and Yoga to help keep the body in prime condition and alleviate the effects of stress. One of the key features of Yogilates is the emphasis on moderation. Routines are laid out simply without the need for long time in difficult poses or a lot of repetitions. Less is truly more in this system because you learn to use the body correctly and hold less tension, which translates to better movement throughout the day and less strain at the end. Another benefit is that you don't need to belong to a gym or have elaborate equipment to practice Yogilates. All you need is a mat and a room and the will to do it. Yogilates was also created to be an open practice, meaning you chose what works best for you. All the exercises are highly efficient and effective and place little strain on the body. So, one could easily do 5 minutes or two hours of Yogilates and still feel energized rather than drained. We encourage dedication, exploration, and enjoyment while doing Yogilates. We believe exercise should make you feel good physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yogilates utilizes awareness and visualizations to help communicate the technique more effectively. Concentration is improved and the practice stimulates the brain. Lastly, by always finishing with stillness and meditation, a Yogilates practitioner is always left relaxed and rejuvenated.
10. I work out all the time, what will Yogilates do for me?
Are you a fitness enthusiast looking for the latest trend in fitness? Are you bored with traditional exercise classes like step, spinning, sculpt, kick, punch, and body pump? Looking for something that will challenge you and keep you interested for a good while? Try Yogilates! We submit that no other routine will train you as completely and enjoyably as Yogilates. The reason is that first, Yogilates will give you the Pilates core exercises, so you will learn to pull all your strength from your deep abdominals, rather than the surface muscles, which can limit your movements. Secondly, Yogilates will improve awareness of alignment and teach proper technique making even short repetitions highly effective. Progressing to the postures of hatha yoga, you’ll learn to use your own bodyweight and gravity to stretch and strengthen the front and back of your torso, as well as your feet, legs and arms. Yogilates classes are designed to train the body for optimal performance. With attention to logical sequencing a nd sound bio-mechanics, you will be able to grow from beginner to advanced exercises quickly and safely. And because Yogilates has over five hundred exercises to choose from, routines can be changed regularly for greater variety. Both Yoga and Pilates are disciplines that take years to master, and the more you know about them the more interesting they become. Intelligently designed and taught, Yogilates will give you greater physical longevity and keep you inspired along the way. Click here to find classes in your area.
11. Where do I find Yogilates classes in my area? Do you know of any certified instructors in my area?
Yogilates is a registered trademark class and can only be taught by certified Yogilates instructors. More and more instructors are successfully becoming certified Yogilates instructors everyday, with many listed on our website. You can also check your local health clubs and if they have Yogilates classes, make sure the instructors are certified.
12. How can I become a certified Yogilates instructor?
In order to be certified in Yogilates, an instructor must be already certified in yoga, with at least a year experience teaching, and have some experience in Pilates. Then, an instructor must take and pass the three modules of Yogilates Teacher Training administered by Jonathan Urla, founder
of Yogilates. It is likely that Jonathan will be holding a training workshop in your area soon. Please check Training for workshop dates and locations. Please see Instructor Training for more detail on certification courses. If you know of a studio or health club that might be interested in
hosting a Yogilates Workshop in your area, please e-mail Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org .
13. What are the videos/DVDs like? What is the difference between the two?
Jonathan Urla has produced three high quality yoga videos that are regarded as some of the best on the market. Shot on digital film in beautiful loactions, the settings are serene and peaceful. Each tape is of a complete class, the first one is 45 minutes long and is for beginners, and the second tape is 60 minutes long and is for intermediate students, and the third is 80 minutes long and is for advanced students. All the tapes focus on how to breathe and hold yourself correctly while performing classic exercises from both Pilates and hatha yoga. All the tapes have wonderful original music that is choreographed to the movements for greater enjoyment. Buy all three videos or DVDs at the online Yogilates Store and save 15%.
14. How much do the videos/DVDs cost?
Pleas see store.
15. How do I purchase them?
The easiest way to purchase the videos or DVDs is online at the Yogilates Store. Once you have selected your products, you can complete the transaction with a credit card, If you prefer, you may call directly number 1-845-358-0868 and purchase them over the phone.
If you have any other questions, please email us at email@example.com .
16. Do I need any special equipment to exercise to the videos/DVDs?
The only equipment necessary for a Yogilates workout is a good yoga mat. We recommend a thick yoga sticky mat for comfort and safety. You may also want to have a foam block, a yoga strap and some appropriate music for your practice. All of these products may be viewed and purchased online at the Yogilates Store. For New York Style Pilates, you will need an appropriate Pilates Mat to work on. You may also want to have a foam block and a towel handy, just in case, and you can also use some light dumbells (2-3lbs). For the Advanced Standing workout, you will also want to have a Pilates Flexaband(tm) and a Pilates Pole(tm) , both are available at the Yogilates Online Store.
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