Friday, June 18, 2010

3 Reasons Why Pilates Will Improve Your Yoga Practice

“Today again I bring forward for you another guest blogger who not just love to write but also follow all what he writes. Kian a personal pilates trainer writes today about how one can help their yoga practise with help of Pilates. Hope you enjoy this article”.

Often times Yoga and Pilates are spoken in the same breath. I’ve found that whenever I incorporate Yoga into my Pilates plans I see massive benefits, and have seen my clients who are primarily Yogi’s see improvement when they start adding in Pilates. Here are the top 3 reasons why any Yogi should start adding in Pilates.

1. Increased core strength and postural alignment:

The main calling card of Pilates is “Core Strength” and while many poses in Yoga involve using the abdominal and other muscles central to core strength and stability the emphasis the Pilates places on the actions of the abdominal can give you the extra edge to make the transition to a pose that has been difficult in the past. Pilates movements have also contributed to a decrease in back pain due to improved abdominal strength.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, sitting, standing, or lying down, core strength and posture play key rolls. As a competitive athlete I had some massive postural and joint issues, and once I started doing Pilates I noticed that I improved my posture, decreased pain, and improved performance. Every well-designed Pilates program will have posture at its center, because the goal of Pilates is to improve your function in every day activities.

2. Joint stabilization and varied resistance:

Like I mentioned above I hurt myself a lot during competition. Shoulders, wrist, knees, I’ve hurt them all, and the restorative movements in Pilates that specifically target injury and stability for the joints helped bring me back to a place where I could compete. Even if you’re injury free, the same movements can help prevent future injuries.

There’s also a level of progressive resistance with Pilates that’s sometimes unavailable in Yoga. Pilates incorporates springs, bands, and other larger pieces of equipment in some classes that can provide you with resistance other than your body weight. This can make the movements easier so that you can make progress, or much harder to challenge yourself. Either way the movements will both challenge, and help to rejuvenate your joint structures.

3. Improved endurance and muscle tone:

In a lot of Pilates classes there will be a relentless flow of core exercises. It’s not that Pilate’s instructors are cruel people, but that Pilates wants to mimic the daily postural onslaught that we face every day. The back-to-back core exercises are meant to increase your body’s ability to deal with the pull of gravity and postural demands of daily life. If you enjoy any other activates, from yoga, running, rock climbing, walking, or weight lifting, you’ll notice that after a few weeks of Pilates you’ll be able to go longer and harder.

           This increase in endurance also translates over to an aesthetic appeal. With improved endurance your muscles are going to develop a more toned appearance. I know that most of us practice fitness for our health, but looking better is always a nice side effect. Even if your primary goal is just to look good, mixing up your workouts is one of the fastest ways to get there.

Here’s a simple exercise that you can start incorporating into your daily routine,

Kian is an A.C.E. certified Personal Trainer, and STOTT Trained Pilates instructor. He made his transition from “fat kid” to fitness professional, and it’s his passion to help as many people as possible reach their fitness goals. He is currently the owner of Ameli Training in Concord CA, and runs a health and fitness blog at

Need More Information on Yoga, Here are some of my best articles:

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