Yoga And Pilates Exercises To Increase Flexibility And Strength

By Patricia | December 10, 2008
Yoga & Pilates To Increase Flexibility

Yoga and Pilates, both the form of exercises will help you to increase your flexibility and strength. The question to your answer will mainly depend on your other physical goals. There is a major philosophical difference than the physical difference between both these forms of exercise and of course the main difference between Pilates and yoga is that between west and east. Yoga is a very popular form of exercise since many decades while Pilates is a newer trend that has left apparently many people baffled.

Let me talk about yoga first. Yoga aims to unite your mind with body with the main aim of flowing energy through your body. The more the energy flows freely, the more you will feel energetic and healthier. Any physical tension in your body hinders the blood flow, over a period of time these areas of tension may become rigid and tight or even painful. By performing yoga poses you can make your body flexible and supple though stretching and movements. A very interesting dimension to yoga is its spiritual discipline. Although the physical poses aim to condition your body their other aim is to connect your body with your mind. An hour of yoga practice can also melt you in a kind of meditative state and emerge totally relaxed and refreshed. You may perform the yoga poses without special equipments or clothes; they are not a prerequisite to perform yoga.

Pilates aim basically on the physical conditioning that is only its main aim. Pilates involves unusual body positioning using trolleys and cables that stretch, strengthen and encourage coordination between the muscles which are involved in stabilizing the body. This exercise technique is a hit among dancers as they find this form highly effective to promote grace, flexibility, and fluid motion and improve body’s alignment and awareness. Pilates in fact is more common with other machine based weight training exercises than yoga as it aims to overload the muscles by moving against the resistance. Although the new form of Pilates that is calisthenic style stretches and exercises resembles physically more with yoga, but the main aim is physical rather than spiritual enhancement through breathing and postures.

So now let me leave you the ball in your court and let you decide which form of exercise you want to choose as both forms will provide proper justice. However if you are in such a profession where physical looks and flexibility is the first and foremost criteria, then Pilates can be an ideal choice between the two. But if along with flexibility and posture you also want to attain self awareness, rejuvenating and limbering workout that will lift your brain as much as your body then go for yoga. The best option I would like to suggest is that you may try both along with other physical activities to increase your flexibility and posture.

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