Fitness | Health | Wellness
Health Benefits of Yoga and Pilates
There has been a huge surge of popularity in Yoga and Pilates workouts in western culture in the last ten years or so, and continues to grow and evolve. The two workout styles come from completely different origins; Yoga being a form of mediation originally from India, and Pilates began as a traditional warmup for professional dancers.
They are very different workouts by themselves, but have some common practices, and when incorporated into a regular routine, together they create a total body and mind workout. Both have great benefits towards core strength, agility and strength training, flexibility and balance.
Both Yoga and Pilates are examples of “mind-body" fitness as they focus on both physical and mental strength. The poses and movements of both types of training strengthen your body and improve your flexibility through movements and breathing techniques that require you to focus your mind.
However, where Yoga centers around mindful practices and body awareness with breathing exercises and holding poses to improve strength, Pilates incorporates more rigorous cardio training, still including strength, stretching and body awareness but with the goal of increasing fitness, endurance and good posture.
Since the two types of workouts are so compatible very often people will practice both Yoga and Pilates on a regular basis to get a well rounded fitness routine.
In Western culture we love convenience and efficiency with everything we do, so of course you can now find a variety of combination Yoga and Pilates classes that give you mindful practices with a cardio workout. Here at Beauty Seeker we make it easy for you to find the classes you want by doing a quick search:
Regular yoga practice has the potential to improve strength, tone, posture, body awareness and flexibility.
Some studies have shown that yoga practices can help control weight, reduce blood pressure, ease stress, and improve sleep. Although Yoga does improve your overall health and wellness, you probably won't achieve weight loss doing yoga alone. Some cardio is needed to lose fat, and maintain a healthy heart and cardio vascular system.
Along with the benefit of an excellent cardio workout, Pilates enthusiasts boast improvements in range of motion, flexibility, circulation, posture, and abdominal strength, as well as a decreases in back and neck pain.
Pilates is fantastic for strengthening abdominal and oblique muscles. Overall flexibility particularly in the back, hip, and hamstrings is also a benefit, which is why it is a regular practice for dancers, since flexibility, especially in the legs is so important for fluid movement.
Another benefit of both Yoga and Pilates is that they has both seem to lower levels of hormones related to stress.