Yogilates.ro is an activity that focuses on the well-being, the harmony of the person. It combines phisical excersises of both Yoga and Pilates together with the psychological, philosophical and spiritual vision of yoga: the creation of a clear, wise, quiet mind…

What is Yogilates.ro?

Yogilates.ro is a method that works with the individual as a whole, on all three levels of one’s being: body, mind and essence. The body is the “hardware”, the machinery that allows us to act and experience the world, and as such, it is of course very useful to maintain this tool in good working shape.

The mind is the “software”, issuing commands that should lead the body into perfect agreement with its needs and possibilities. Yet, in modern society, our many artificial habits induce a disconnection between mind and body, generating confusion, disorder, and what we usually call stress.

The third level is what can be called essence, but it can also be known by many other names. Essence is our aliveness, our awareness, our presence. We live our life so lost on our mind, that we believe the mind to be the awareness. This confusion is one of the main reasons for our suffering. During the classes we reconnect to our essence, to who we really are.

Although the work on the body is apparently the main focus of the regular classes, Yogilates.ro helps harmonize these three aspects of ourselves.

What is Yogilates.ro based on? What experiences helped you to “put it together”?

Sport has always been a large part of my life, but so were injuries and disappointments. I did gymnastics when I was a kid, but did not have the “seriousness” that was required to be kept in the team. I was in a swimming team when I was in primary school, but I had such an unpleasant, difficult, negative trainer that he turned what could have been a great time into a nightmare. I played handball in high school, until I dislocated my right shoulder. I played rugby in my early twenties, until I dislocated my left shoulder. I played football all my life, but many times I had to watch the game from the outside because of problems with my calf muscles. I became a lifeguard but then I could not work as such because of the injuries in my shoulders.

Sports had always been part of what I liked to do, but it was clear that more than my own desires to do things, there was a big force—a force I now call Life—that was actually guiding my life. This moved me to try to study, to understand, to see that Life, that force.

And what I know now is that whatever we do, be it sports, medicine, computer science, business, or whatever, if it is not accompanied by a deep understanding of that Life, it can – and probably will – create a lot of confusion, frustration, unhappiness, misunderstanding, misery… Just look around at people in society: it is clear that there is very little happiness, very little peace, very little harmony.

Already as a teenager I started to see how unhappy most people were, how unhappy most societies were, and how much suffering there was. What I realized was that the training in one’s life should not be directed only towards the specific things one wants to do, but also – and especially – towards the understanding of Life.

So, for many years, and in different contexts, I studied that Life in the form of philosophy, psychology and art. And of course, I studied lots of Yoga. When I was younger, I was very attracted to the complexity and difficulty of the movements and that was mostly what I focused on. But with time, I started to see that the Western idea of Yoga had very little to do with the origins of Yoga. The meaning of the word Yoga is to yoke, to connect, to unify, and as time went by I started to see that the real Yoga is the unification, the connection, first of our body and mind and then, between our own personal life (which is basically our likes and dislikes, our preferences) with Life, that enormous force we seem to have to beat, to conquer, to defeat, to cope with, to rise above, to overcome, that force we are always fighting with in order to be happy.

What Yoga showed me was that exactly this continuous fight with Life was in reality at the basis, at the foundation of my unhappiness. Yoga showed me that what I actually needed was a deep understanding of that Life, of its laws, of its ways, of its NEEDS. With this understanding, instead of fighting with Life, I learned to flow with it, to make peace with, to be part of it… and when this understanding went deep enough I could actually see that I was not really separated at all from that Life.

And so the Yogilates.ro training became a sport focusing on the understanding of Life.

Who is Yogilates.ro for?

Many people start coming to the Yogilates.ro classes because of some difficulties with their bodies, either backaches, or stiffness or a general feeling of tiredness. But then they see that the classes are about much more than “fixing” the body. Yogilates.ro is definitely for people who are interested in taking care of their bodies, but who also have a deep desire to find harmony in themselves and with the world around. Without this desire, the classes will not work. It’s not as easy as it sounds, harmony requires lots of work. We are very often so disconnected from ourselves and from the world around us that it takes a lot of effort and desire and commitment to actually find that harmony. Of course the result is always much greater than the effort, but many people are just too busy with their problems to have the energy to look for harmony. Harmony does not pay my bills, they say; harmony does not buy me what I want, harmony does not put gas in my car… Once I have enough money, once I feel more secure, once I do this or that, then I will go for harmony… Without a strong desire for harmony in one’s life, the Yogilates.ro classes will not be useful.

Does Yogilates.ro help with stress?

Yes. Stress is created when there is a disconnection between essence, mind and body, between the idea we have about how things should be and the reality of how things really are. Although there are many superficial, albeit useful, ways to deal with stress, the deepest way is to reconnect mind and body which is done through the recognition of our own essence.

What are the benefits of Yogilates.ro for health?

The benefits can be very numerous, but in a few words Yogilates.ro helps increase the strength and flexibility of the whole body and improves considerably its posture and overall balance. It helps to detoxify the body and to facilitate the release of some forms of pain, such as back pain and arthritis. It increases energy levels, respiratory efficiency and helps normalize the gastrointestinal tract. And by balancing the nervous system, you simply feel better about yourself.

What are the benefits of Yogilates.ro for beauty?

Do you REALLY want to be beautiful? Enjoy who you are. Enjoy everything about yourself, and this of course includes your body. Yogilates.ro will help you enjoy who you are, and that will make you really beautiful.

Is Yogilates.ro for people who want to lose weight?

It is not specifically designed to lose weight. It may help you do it, but if that is all you want, then Yogilates.ro is not for you.

As a paradox, for most people who are overweight, the root of this condition is not within the body, but within the heart. They tend to rely on food, or alcohol, or other substances to temporarily fill an emptiness they carry inside. Most weight-loss methods on the market are aimed solely at the body and neglect the deeper source of the problem, which is an inner imbalance, a shift away from one’s essence. What Yogilates.ro can do is help people reconnect with their essence and the result is greater balance in all aspects of life, including the physical one.

Is Yogilates.ro difficult?

It has levels of difficulty, but it is not difficult. One important principle we apply in these classes is that everyone should work at their own level; it is only from there on that we can progress, at our own rhythm. The class combines Yoga postures with Pilates exercises and moments of relaxation, all the while keeping ourselves focused on our breathing and on our inner selves.

Which are the advantages of Yogilates.ro compared with other disciplines?

Every practice has its advantages and it really depends on what you are looking for, so you can choose something that has more advantages FOR YOU. If what you are looking for is to get away from your body, sweat all your problems away and have very loud music accompanying your movements, then Tae Bo, for example, may have a lot of advantages. In the case of Yogilates.ro, what you find is a very relaxed and deepening environment; a place to make your body stronger and more flexible, but also a place to find your body and yourself.
If these things are attractive to you, then Yogilates.ro will have more advantages.

What are the main principles of Yogilates.ro?

1. It is quality, not quantity that matters. We focus on the quality of each movement, avoiding many uncontrolled repetitions.

2. Breathing. We maintain even, continuous, deep flowing breathing. No matter what we do, we do not hold our breath.

3. Abdomen. We keep our attention on the center of our body—the powerhouse—and try to understand that all of our movements, all of our strength, come from that center.

4. Posture. No matter what we are doing, we maintain a focus on right posture and alignment of the body.

5. We work at our own level. We are really not concerned about what other people are doing.

We respect ourselves and take care of ourselves.

6. Concentration. We are focused on our body, our alignment, our breathing, on the way we are doing the movements.

7. Enjoyment. We enjoy what we do not because of a future gain, but because it is wonderful to move, it is wonderful to be alive in the moment.

8. Presence. No matter how much we move, our destination is to be where we are.

What do people leave with after one of your classes?

A stronger and more flexible body; a powerful sense of presence; a more clear and peaceful mind; and hopefully, a lot of food for thought.

What are three representative exercises for Yogilates.ro?

● Sun salutation: a series of exercises were the whole body is used. It takes a while until one learns all the movements, but once that happens, by connecting the breath to the movements it becomes a moment of meditation in action, while at the same time stretching and strengthening the whole body.

● Cris-cross: a very powerful exercise that works all the abdominals, especially the obliques.
At the same time, because it is a very demanding exercise, with the right guidance, it can be used as a way to learn not to get psychologically lost, not to lose the moment, not to disappear as a human being and become a piece of muscle.

● Tadasana: an apparently easy exercise were one simply stands tall with the eyes closed. We often do this exercise after a tiring series of exercises, were the body is tired, the heart and breath agitated and the senses very open. In such a moment, the inner silence and the outer silence become obvious, the mind is less agitated and one may experience a powerful sense of presence, of being… one may experience the essence of one’s being: silent, alert presence.

In Yogilates.ro classes, what muscles do you work with?

The idea of each class is to have a balanced workout, leaving you with a feeling of wholeness and completeness.

How would you wish to influence people who come to Yogilates.ro?

Generally, we live our lives based on satisfying our basic needs for survival and enjoyment.

We compete, make efforts, fight, push etc. in order to get what we want and avoid what we don’t want. We want comfort and security and don’t want the opposite, and this constant run to get what I want and avoid what I don’t creates a very agitated mind.

And when the mind is agitated, we don’t like it, and we go after more things, more security and more comfort, as we believe this will quiet down the mind. But this, in the long run, only creates more agitation, more tension and the whole thing goes round and round and round and round. In Yoga this is called “the wheel of samsara”.

My intention with the classes is to create a space of silence in our minds in order to open up to the possibility of a different kind of life, a more essential, profound, simple, connected, satisfying life.

What is balance?

Balance is based on a sense of wholeness, a sense of not feeling separated. First of all, not feeling separated inside, not feeling that the body is only an instrument that caries the head from one point to another. Body and mind have to feel connected; the body expresses the states of the mind and the mind responds to the sensations of the body.

Then, the mind has to be together. When I say the mind, I mean not only the thoughts but also the emotions. The mind is the instrument that generates thoughts and emotions. In most people, the mind—thoughts, emotions and sensations—are so confused, are fighting, competing with each other that what they call inner life is nothing but thoughts fighting with other thoughts and thoughts fighting with emotions. We need to understand our thoughts, see where they are coming from, distinguishing more intelligent (whole) from more superficial, unintelligent thoughts. We need to see that behind every emotion there is a belief that supports it, and we need to find a balance between them.

Together with the inside union, there has to be a communion between me as a person and Life as a whole. The essence of most of our suffering resides in the wrong belief that Life—everything outside of our skin—is separated from me, and so, something to be afraid of, or to be desired.

In reality, “I” and “Life” are not separated but are related in more ways than we can even imagine.

That sense of wholeness with Life, that sense of being one with Life, of flowing with Life is what I refer as balance.

What are the five main reasons one should come to a Yogilates.ro class?

● To take care, appreciate and be grateful for our body.

● To take care and learn about our mind.

● To have a stronger appreciation for being, for presence, for this present moment.

● To learn to love ourselves.

● To love Life.