The Benefits of Yoga & Pilates
Article by Linda Marie
Achieving goals of fitness and practicing wellness in life will take patience and perseverance. There is not only one type of exercise that can be done to achieve a completely fit and toned body. Aerobic exercise and cardiovascular workouts are important for burning calories, getting the oxygen flowing through the body and revving up the metabolism. Strength training with weights is another component of maintaining a fitness routine because it strength training builds muscle more than cardiovascular workouts can. The body has to stay balanced and there are two types of workouts that can help to work the core muscles in the body, improve flexibility and balance and even ease the pains of injury. Yoga and Pilates tone the body and build strength but are not cardiovascular workouts.
Yoga can be practiced indoors or outdoors but in either case the yoga instructor usually stands at the front of the room or group of people to demonstrate the moves and postures as the class follows along. The yoga instructor will also usually verbally dictate what you are to do and how the body should be positioned during that specific pose. The amount of talking in a yoga class is usually limited to the verbal instruction and sometimes soft music is played during the practice. There are several different types of yoga and each type of practice is a bit different. Vinyasa yoga and Bikram yoga are different from each other because one focuses more on moving with the breath and the other focuses more on deep stretching.
Pilates is more about floor work and working the core muscles. In a typical Pilates class the pilates instructor will be in front of the class dictating and showing the students what to do. Pilates is a great way to strengthen the abdominal muscles, legs, and arms without using machines or a lot of free weights. The practice of Pilates is more about using your body itself to increase your strength rather than using weight resistance to build muscle. Because Pilates and yoga are very much about being in proper alignment and balancing your body it can be difficult for a beginner to “find your center” as it is commonly said in yoga. When taking a Pilates class you will know that you have a good Pilates’ instructor if the instructor walks around the class and helps people adjust their body into the correct position.
About the Author
Linda Marie avidly practices yoga in Washington and enjoys hiking and outdoor activities.