Yoga is about the union of the body, mind and spirit – connecting and yoking them. Often people that do yoga practice meditation, but not all yoga classes include meditation. It helps you become aware of your posture, patterns of movement, and alignment. It can make your body and mind flexible and help you to relax even when you are in a stressful environment. There is a sense of wonder in the moment and that every circumstance is a life lesson and not something to resist.
A good teacher will help the student learn to be able to carry this peaceful state into every day life. The movements are performed usually in a group setting on a mat with the aid of an instructor. There are both stretching as well as strengthening poses and some classes use a gong to help during the relaxation period. In Pilates, there is a an emphasis on developing the core and many dancers also study it for it’s sculpting ability as well as toning effects.
There are many different styles of yoga and they usually differ in their emphasis. The style that you use is a matter of your own personal preference. Some prefer a spiritual emphasis and kundalini yoga classes end with a long meditation as well as incorporate mantras and chanting. One of the styles you can use is the Vinyasa. It makes use of modified poses that are designed to meet specific needs of the individual and to enhance strength to the joints, flexibility, and healing. The practices may include meditation, study, reflection, and other classical elements including quoting from the Sutras of Patanjali. Pranayama or various breathing exercises are done to help one cultivate a state being dual consciousness.
Pilates has some of the same goals. The major difference is that they not only have a full complement of mat work but they also use a machine. These exercises are done to strengthen the abdominals, stabilize and lengthen the spine, improve posture, and balance. The lower back, abdominal muscles, and buttocks serve as the center to each movement which allows the other parts of the body to move easily. The low impact nature of these exercise makes it good for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Its six principles are in the areas of concentration, breathing, control, flow, centering, and precision-training. This trains the body to move correctly with the least amount of stress on the body. The balance between flexibility and strength creates a healthy and well rounded workout for all of the muscle groups which then results in a more balanced, leaner, and stronger body. Some say that pilates requires more stamina and strength, but certain forms of hot yoga as well as kundalini yoga can be quite vigorous as well. Some say power yoga is quite similar to the effects of pilates.
If you are wondering if doing both yoga and pilates in conjunction with one another will complement each other, the answer is yes. These techniques makes it easy for them to complement each other. You can get the stretch from Yoga and keep it with Pilates. Join the breathing techniques and meditative aspects of both of these exercises into your daily routine and see the stress of your life, begin to disappear. Both techniques are established and with the help of a good instructor, you can reach the goals you set up for yourself.