September 28, 2012
Pilates and Yoga – Stretch While Strengthening Your Core

Today's elaboration on flexibility will focus on what Yoga and Pilates can do for you and your flexibility along with your core strength, posture and over-all health.

Pilates is a system of mind-body focused exercise that teaches body awareness and good posture through improving flexibility, agility and core strength. Pilates emphasizes proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment and creates body awareness for proper movement.  It also focuses on developing a strong core: Flat Abs and a strong back, while integrating the trunk, pelvic and shoulder girdles - essential for efficient force production.  By practicing Pilates, you will promote good movement patterns to prevent injury and improve flexibility creating muscular balance. Ready to get started yet? The beauty of Pilates is that there is always a "next level" - meaning anyone from the most novice and inexperienced to a core strength junky can benefit.

Yoga is a practice that has similar benefits to Pilates, but with different focuses and methods. Yoga increases flexibility through incorporating various positions that act across multiple joints in the body while building strength through the static holds of these poses. Yoga also focuses on a mind-body connection through incorporating breath with movement, creating an enhanced sense of body awareness. This awareness can be applied across disciplines and sports to improve performance, and like Pilates, prevent injury.

The benefits of Yoga and Pilates reach far beyond the improvements in flexibility. They serve as a great compliment to any exercise program as long as they are done properly. Your trainer should have some good feedback as to whether or not it is the right time for you to start adding these activities, similarly- getting private instruction to get started on the right foot is highly recommended. Many people are either all about Pilates or all about Yoga, if you're having trouble deciding- try each and see which one works best for you- you may end up falling in love with the way you feel doing both. Namaste.


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