A beginning level yoga class that safely tones, stretches, and relaxes your whole body. Fusing core strength, flexibility, and balance, Yogilates integrates the techniques of Pilates and hatha yoga for a complete and enjoy... more »able mind/body workout. Created by certified Pilates and Yoga Instructor Jonathan Urla, this beginning level program is ideal for people of all ages and abilities. With an original musical score and beautiful loft setting, you and the on-screen class with move from core matwork exercises to tone your abs and hips, to standing poses for leg strength, flexibility, and better balance. With a restorative ending, you'll feel more aligned, centered and stress-free.« less
"I am updating this review because at first I had more misgivings about it than positives. However, the more I use it the more I really have found it to be an excellent program!
By way of background I have been doing Yoga every day for the past 9 years and have over 90 programs now. I am fairly new to Pilates but it's something that has really captured my interest. When I saw that there was actually a Yogilates program I figured, "Perfect"! There are some things that I feel could be better about it but I'll just go ahead and list the positives and negatives.
In fact, I'll start though with the positives because I feel mostly positive about it, I will be frank about the negatives because I think if someone may base their purchase of a product based on reviews here they should have as clear a picture of it as possible. I'll do my best :)
1st: The sequencing is very interesting, in fact I LOVE the way it's put together. It's quite unique in many ways, for example he does the Sun Salutes in the last third of the program rather than at the beginning, and of course the way he incorporates Pilates into Yoga is very well done and I feel really great after doing this program!
2nd: It's a nice and simple studio setting with very calming background music.
3rd: I think Jonathan Urla comes across as sincere and unpretentious, he's not a "rah rah" type instructor.
4th: It is a gentle program overall which contains poses that should be accessible to almost anyone with reasonably good health.
1st: The movements into and especially out of postures are somewhat erratic and jerky instead of flowing and smooth. Also most of the poses are not held very long at all. I have many fast moving programs by Baron Baptiste and other teachers where the poses are flowing somewhat quickly, but they are entered and released very smoothly and the poses are held long enough to feel some benefit in them. I felt barely established in a pose before he was sort of snapping out of it. The transitions could have been much smoother (and safer) without adding much time to the overall program.
2nd: A big concern of mine is that when he demonstrates the Warrior 2 pose, his form is extremely questionable! He has his knee extended well beyond his ankle. From all I've ever learned about Yoga from my Yoga teacher, books and DVD's/Videos, you should NEVER bring you knee past your ankle in this (or any standing pose) because it puts strain on the knee.
3rd: There is very little clear breathing instruction. Pilates in particular has is a very specific approach to breathing (where in Yoga it may vary according to the type of style, some do a "three part breath" where the belly expands, some keep the belly firm using an abdominal lock called "Uddiyana Bandha", which is similar to "Pilates breathing").
In Pilates you should engage your core by bringing your belly towards your spine and breath into the back and sides of the torso rather than the belly. This is a critical thing in Pilates because it helps stabilize and move from your core. He gives ZERO instruction about that. Also, even during the Yoga poses there is not very clear or consistent breathing instruction in terms of moving on an "in breath" or "out breath.
4th: Jonathan Urla speaks VERY quickly (in bursts rather than in clearly enuciated and flowing sentences) and occasionally I found it a bit hard to understand what he was saying right away. I also found that this disturbed the overall feeling and rhythmic flow. I find that a good Yoga practice should have a subtle underlying rhythm to it and that the cadence of an instructors speech can either enhance or take away from that rhythmic flow. If the instructor suddenly says "now move your leg back" and then quickly releases the pose rather than saying it slowly enough to give you time to prepare for a smooth release, that it really hurts that flow.
Personally, someone with a good amount of experience with Yoga and Pilates could probably use this program and get plenty of benefit from it. I for one will just go at my own pace and do the poses with form that I know is safe. However, for someone with little or no Yoga or Pilates experience I think they should start with something else (such as Yoga Zone Basics or something along those lines.
While initially I didn't think I would purchase the other DVD's in this set my feelings have changed based on how good this program makes me feel. Apparently the concerns I had about this one are not supposed to be as much an issue on the following programs.
It certainly delivered what I expected and more.
Micha Proietto | 10/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had already ordered beginners yoga/pilates videos from a different series and maker altogether only I wasn't 100% satisfied - I was left feeling a bit empty. So I bought this one as well. After reading the other reviews, it sounded like this one had more of the things I was looking for and it certainly did! It was as good as I was hoping and when I finished the first time, I was left feeling a little impressed. I just like the "feel" of this one...
Jonathan Urla is so super calming and gives great, easy to follow instruction. I like that his geekyness shows through a little. It makes him feel approachable and non judgmental.
I have some experience with both pilates and yoga but it's been quite a long time since I've practiced. So this video was a great refresher on the basics of yoga and pilates and a wonderful warm up for the more intense Yogilates videos. I think this would be good for not only people with little to no experience but also people with more experience that are looking for a lighter but none the less great workout.
The video is broken up into three sections - first abs, then back, and then legs which is nice if you want to do your workout in parts but once I get started I hate to stop until it's over. Sometimes though if I want a little more out of my work out or want to give a certain area some extra attention, I'll just do a particular section twice...
The studio is a small, minimal but nicely decorated loft. The music is light, relaxing and has a rhythm that flows well with your breathing. I really enjoy the feel of the atmosphere. The "background" people are pleasant too - they also make you feel comfortable.
The dead man's pose at the end is a little short but Urla is so good at getting you unbelievably relaxed that if you laid there any longer you might go into a coma... haha... It has definitely worked great as a stress and anxiety reliever for me.
This entire series is highly recommended!!! Three years later and I still haven't found anything I like better..."
I just LOVE this workout!
Debbie the Book Devourer | Waltham, MA USA | 05/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jonathan Urla developed a practice that is a hybrid between yoga and Pilates and cleverly trademarked the clever name Yogilates. In this Level One DVD, he and his class go through stretching, ab and back workouts, sun salutations and standing poses, and finally more stretching and relaxation. The different exercises flow well into each other and are very accessible to a beginner. I finish this workout feeling like energized and relaxed, despite the fact that I've worked somewhat hard.
Urla is an excellent instructor. He coaches us on breathing and position, crucially important in both yoga and Pilates. He tells us how to modify the exercises if we're not ready for the full version (and the various members of his class demonstrate the modifications). His voice is calm and encouraging. And the music? I just adore the music! It's alternately trippy, mystical, and peppy.
Do this workout, and your mind, body, and soul will all thank you! Namaste."
Great workout, one I can actually follow
Terri | Arizona, USA | 03/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best workout video I've ever had experience with. Usually, I either can't follow them because they're too complicated or not taught well enough, or else they're way too easy. This is perfect! It's calming yet invigorating at the same time. After the first few times, you don't even have to watch the TV anymore. You can do it just by listening to his instructions. This workout has increased my flexibility, my patience, and my confidence. I can't wait to progress on to the next level, but according to the book, the first level should be practiced for at least 6 months before even thinking about going to the next level. Highly recommended video, all you need is a yoga mat and a quiet, distraction-free place to do the workout. It's about 45 minutes, and the book recommends doing it 3-5 times per week."
Good fusion, mostly yoga for this level
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 01/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD only has 3 menu options to 3 parts of the workout. This is done in a all white room w/bright large windows w/hardwood floors, Jonathan helped by another man, a young & a senior woman all in good shape. The music was mostly good, beat/tempo changed w/each song, 1 song grated on me such as one that was a flute that wanted to sound like a Disney movie bird chirping.
After a 3 min intro, it starts w/breathing deeply while sitting, shoulder rolls, arm raised stretching, side stretching, kundalini spinal stretching back/forth & cross-legged butterfly for 3 min. Next is laying down w/legs at 90 degree angle & lifting head for pilates exercise, then straight legs raised & lifting head for crunch up/down, then pilates leg walking in air, laying leg splits, knee/chest stretch, straight leg raises, leg circles in air, straight leg to head, then repeated on the other side. Still laying down is bent knee spinal twists, modified bridge pose & reg bridge pose, twisted leg spinal twist & final reg laying down stretch for total of 12 min & at the 15 min mark of the dvd at end of the 1st of 3 part workout. PART 2: Is sitting yoga butterfly & tabletop done repeatedly, sitting slightly spread straight leg forward bend, popular opposite hand/ankle stretch, straight leg forward spinal twists for a total of 4 min. Next is laying down on your stomach for single leg raise, locust, modified boat pose (superman look), child's pose, cat/cow, downward dog, child's pose, modified upward dog, child's pose & repeated several times, bended knee lunge, very modified side angle pose on bended knee, repeated on other side, standing forward bend, modified chair pose & regular chair pose & concludes w/mountain pose for a total of 12 min at the 27 min mark. PART 3: Standing on tip tose & normal, tree pose, sun salutations: mountain, modified standing fwd bend, modified chair pose, plank, upward dog, downward dog, modified standing forward bend & back to standing & then is repeated. Next is simple standing side bends, modified chair pose 3x & then reg chair, warrior 1, warrior 2 & triangle, then is repeated on the other side. Forward bend, sitting up for a rest, twisted sage pose, crossed leg butterfly & lay down for a total of 13 min & 40 min mark. It ends w/a slightly guided corpse pose relaxation for 3 min.
Yoga Dad wrote a great review I agree with on all points. Before any yoga pose or pilates exercise, he would modify it a lot in/out of it before finally doing it. Case in point, the yoga chair pose, he'd barely drop to it several times, finally get into it & only hold it for 5 seconds. He also seemed to only do the modified versions of many of the yoga & pilates exercises. I did feel more stretched out & though not that worked out except for my legs on some warrior poses. During the end meditation, I did more of the yoga bridge pose & leg raises to work my abs. The 2nd time I did this, I did only full, not modified exercise, held the harder poses longer to make this a great workout for my level. I was hoping to escape from sun salutations, but a surprising bonus is that he shows slow how to properly/smoothly transition from plank to upward dog/cobra in a beautiful way. He's got pretty good body awareness, talks as he demonstrates himself & seems friendly.