Pilates and Yoga?

The big question I get from most of my patients, “what’s the difference between Pilates and Yoga?” or the statement, “I’ve never tried Pilates, but I’ve done Yoga. Is one better than the other?” Both are absolutely beneficial to one another! I teach Pilates but love going to weekly Yoga classes. A little overview of each to understand more about what each has to offer: Pilates, wrote about how our way of life, from small movement to large movement can impair physical fitness easily (ex. Shoveling the snow or doing a movement, using muscles we haven’t used in a while, after doing such activities we tend to get delayed onset muscle soreness), so it would be vital to train the body to keep as strong as possible to help with what we enjoy in our daily lives and to not cause as much physical strain. Joseph Pilates created “Contrology” to require mental control and physical discipline, each movement performed with total concentration and muscular engagement so that the focus is quality vs quantity.  In Pilates you are encouraged to start slow and build gradually, with practice the methods will lead to improved posture, stamina and graceful movement. Training the body to coordinate as a whole rather than parts of the body. Whole body workout, while focusing on the core for the strength and stamina. Yoga, a form of non-impact exercise, rather philosophically so much more than exercise. In Yoga, the body is actively stretched through eccentric (contraction while actively lengthening). Performing postures or asanas is done with attention to alignment and breathing; the exercise increases overall mobility and agility by increasing joint range of motion and muscle length or flexibility. The focused concentration on breathing smoothly and consistently throughout the entire class improves, pulmonary function, increased circulation throughout the body from greater oxygenation of the entire body and this helps the lining of the lungs stretch from deep breathing. Classes stimulate, relax, rejuvenate and detoxify all body systems; not only helping the body but also the mind through improved concentration and awareness; by stimulating and reducing tension in the glands and endocrine system, leading to hormonal balances. Pilates exercises, increase strength as well as bone density, allowing the body to better support brittle bones from osteoporosis. Yoga exercises, strengthen the core as well and lengthen the spine, while increasing body awareness. Move out of your comfort zone, you can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new! Go for it!  :)

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