Yogalates is sometimes thought of as a fusion practice of "East meets West," because it merges the ancient Indian practice of yoga with the Western practice of Pilates, which was developed by Joseph Pilates in 1920s Germany. It combines the yogic focus on enhanced mind and body awareness, strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, with Pilates techniques to improve posture and create a strong, stable foundation for movement.
A Yogalates class may include popular yoga postures like downward-facing dog and the warrior poses with Sun Salutations, stretching and intense core and abdominal strength work. Some exercises may require the use of props such as blocks, resistance bands and weights to intensify the effect. Yogalates may also feature breathing exercises, guided mindfulness and relaxation, depending on the teacher and style. It is likely to have a strong focus on alignment.
As well as the benefits of yoga and Pilates, Yogalates is believed to be particularly effective for improving muscle tone, developing a slimmer, stronger physique and even weight loss.