“Where Pilates Ends, Garuda Begins"

Words Aimee Challies Photography Aimee Challies / Various

 "Garuda defines Pilates for a new generation of 21st Century Fitness"
 - James D'Silva, Creator of Garuda

If you are looking to challenge yourself after a languid, indulgent summer holiday or have simply grown a little bored with your current pilates routine, there is another method set to test your mind and body. Garuda, though developed sometime ago in London, has been fairly under-the-radar up until very recently. We have caught up with Aimee Challies, a certified Pilates and Garuda instructor based between Europe and New Zealand, to get the details on this form of workout, which can be done both on a mat or with the help of a specially-designed device.

The Method

"Garuda takes its name from an Indian mythological sacred bird that can change shape according to its function. It has inspired a more intelligent and intuitive way to exercise the body. Combining the spirituality, pranayama and asana practice of Yoga, the core strength and control of Pilates and the balletic grace of Dance, the Garuda method is the answer to many people’s quest for a stronger, more flexible, toned body."

* Developed in London, with classes online and worldwide.
* Garuda is a fusion of various movement modalities. It incorporates a matwork sequence, barre and a versatile and multifunctional exercise apparatus, offering a seemingly endless range of exercise options. It delivers a new and improved way to isolate muscle groups.
* It has a unique style that promotes precision and form, complimented with strength, fluidity and dynamic movement.
* Focuses on actively lengthening the fascial system integral to flexibility and strength.
* Garuda is a test of mental strength, as well as physical, demanding total concentration during the exercises. Paying special attention to the transitional movements is a very integral part of this technique. Athletic as the practice can be, a definite sense of mindfulness, awareness and introspection are constantly part of this work.
* It has the benefits of a robust Cardio workout, placing an emphasis on smooth, seamless movements, without any stress on the joints. Developing greater poise and posture and a leaner, more resilient body.

Garuda method

The Garuda Apparatus

* Creator James D’Silva worked closely with engineers to conceive a single, clever exercise device. 
* Innovatively designed with limitless movement possibilities, it encouraging exercises to constantly flow from one to another, creating a dynamic, energetic workout.
* It takes exercise, body conditioning and rehabilitation to a new level.

Garuda Apparatus

The Key Details

* Classes are 60 - 90 mins in duration
* Can be practiced at home with a mat, foam roller, or small props.
* With many variations and a highly versatile repertoire, it means the method is suitable and beneficial for anyone, especially for injury rehabilitation and pregnancy / post-natal exercise.
* It is highly recommended to have an initial one-on-one session with an experienced Garuda practitioner to learn the precision and style of the work.  

Garuda Mat

For classes in London:
The Garuda Yoga and Pilates Studio


You can also follow Aimee to get an extra dose of inspiration from her practice and travel diary via her Instagram  page.

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