Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Attention Yoga Lovers: 3 Reasons to Love Pilates

Attention Yoga Lovers! I've been talking lately about how Pilates will help you grow your Yoga practice. If you missed out on this read HERE and HERE first.

One of the most common questions I get asked as a Pilates teacher is "Pilates is just like Yoga, right?." My answer is always something like "Well, yes and no...but did you know Joseph Pilates (shocker, he's the guy in the picture above we can credit this great form of exercise to) studied and incorporated Eastern Philosophy into his method, including Yoga." I say all of that to get at- If you love Yoga, I'm 100% sure that you will also love Pilates. Here's why:

1. Pilates is all about the flow.
Beginning from the second you step onto your mat until you return to standing following Seal, your Pilates practice is continuous. There are no breaks. And because you don't have to change the settings on any equipment, you can really focus on finding the connection between each exercise. Yes, even the transitions are part of the workout.

Pictured above is the Side Series. To switch to the opposite side, you lie flat on your stomach and beat your heels together for 2 sets of 10 THEN roll to the other side.

2. You still get told by your teacher to breath.
Ever tried to count the number of times your Yoga teacher has told you to inhale and exhale during class? Yea, me neither, but I will say I don't think I could keep track. Breathing is SO important and both in your workouts and everyday life. "Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it."- Joseph Pilates

As a Pilates teacher, I focus a lot on breathing with my clients as well. There are so many benefits to finding full inhalations and full exhalations in your matwork. Breathing gives your body energy as well as helps you control your movements on the mat during exercises. Did you know that breathing deeply also helps cleanse your bloodstream?

3. All you need for class is a Mat.
And of course water. I'm all about not needing anything special to do a workout. That also means that when I'm traveling or going on vacation I can still get a quick, efficient yet also challenging workout in without the need to take anything extra with me. Because if you have kids, you also know that there is NO extra room in the car (I pretty much have rationale with my husband why I need more than pair of shoes ha) especially for a mat. So usually when I'm out of town, I won't even bring my mat with me. I'll take two towels from the hotel or where ever we are staying and double them up on the floor.

Pictured above is Rolling Like a Ball, which is one of the Rolling Exercises found in the Mat Series. In this exercise, it is important to only roll back no further than the tips of your shoulder blades AND keep the chin tucked into your chest. I find that two towels provide the perfect amount of cushion for my spine as I am doing the Rolling Exercises if I do not have a mat.

So there you have it. Now go give Pilates a try for yourself.

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