Can someone explain this? (Pilates and Yoga) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-04-2010, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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How does Pilates and Yoga work to get you in shape? What is it about them that works? I am interested in both as a form of exercise.

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#2 of 5 Old 10-05-2010, 12:19 AM
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There are lots of different types and variations of yoga so I am assuming you are referring to Hatha Yoga where you move through a series of asanas at a decent pace.

Most of yoga is going to be balance, core and strength exercises. Some classes have repetitions of warming or chakra opening movements but in general I find it to be a strength class.

Pilates is similar to yoga in the ideas of flexibility and strength of the body. Maybe it is the breathing and visualizations that is the biggest difference...

I am a big fan of bodyweight exercises and using slow controlled movements to build muscle so I think that either one of these practices is a great addition to someones fitness routine. I personally like to spend my time doing yoga because the visualizing and breathing techniques benefit more of me than just my muscles.

Building muscle helps burn fat but we all know that diet is the biggest part of our fitness and overall health so standing alone, yoga and pilates wouldn't do much for anyone.
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#3 of 5 Old 10-09-2010, 01:55 PM
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Honestly I think that both are extremely useful for building muscle *as enhancement to a muscle-building resistance-training program*.

Yoga helps with flexibility, join mobility, strength relative to body size, breath awareness, energy, and body awareness. All of these things will aid in any athletic endeavour, AND it promotes relaxation and stress reduction.

Pilates focuses more on the "core" muscles - abdominals, hip flexors, back & gluteals - which allows you to lift more, more safely in a weight-training program, improves posture and alignment (which yoga may too), and (IME) is more of a "workout". It can also really help with specific areas of weakness, and I've always found I feel awesome after a class. It's great just from the "OMG I have abs and they feel FABULOUS" aspect.

Both types of exercise are best done in a class, which helps provide motivation and structure, as well as a social element that many people find helpful. Both types of exercise will build *some* muscle and strengthen and condition existing muscles, and are DEFINITELY better than doing nothing at all, but if you really want to lose fat and build muscle, resistance training is the way to go (along with interval training for cardiovascular/aerobic health).

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#4 of 5 Old 10-24-2010, 12:58 AM
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Just to add: Pilates emphasizes the eccentric (or lengthening) of muscles as opposed to weight-lifting which is all about the concentric thrust or shortening of the muscle. Its important to have a balance b/n the two for joint health and longevity. Pilates (when done with a qualified instructor) is also an efficient way to repattern neuromuscularly, and so is rehabilitative and a wonderful adjunct to many sports.
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#5 of 5 Old 10-24-2010, 08:14 PM
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I've been practicing yoga for almost two years now and it's been amazing for my flexibility and strength. It's important to me to develop the strength to move my body weight, in other words, strength train using only bodyweight. Yoga has been great for that and also for strengthening my core and, perhaps most importantly, it's helped me to be aware with what's going on in my body.

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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