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Yoga and Pilates: A Sensible Combination

Aug 17, 2007
Pilates highlights just a tiny aspect of the vast discipline of Yoga. Yoga includes all that Pilates comprises and a lot more. While Yoga stresses the unity of mind, body and spirit and involves a combination of physical exercises, breathing exercises and meditation, Pilates is more physically inclined; it is, primarily, aimed at promoting flexibility, increase stamina and strength, reduce stress and cure ailments. Yoga is considered not just physically therapeutic but also mentally and spiritually. People take up Yoga not just to be physically fit and energetic, but also to reduce stress and anxiety and achieve inner peace and happiness.

While Yoga is the considered most holistic approach to physical and mental well-being, Pilates refers to a physical fitness exercise system. Together with lengthening and stabilizing of the spine it is designed to achieve and maintaining perfect body alignment and posture. It primarily focuses on cultivating core postural muscles. Yoga benefits, on the other hand, are more than just a physical; they are all-inclusive. For physical and mental health, covering all aspects of breathing, relaxation, internal hygiene, diet, breathing techniques, meditation and ultimately self-realization, there is nothing like Yoga.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga exercises and poses are not just intended to make the practitioner physically fit and strong, by bathing internal organs with rich oxygenated blood and life force energy they also set their functioning right. Further, Yoga normalizes the endocrine system, strengthens the respiratory system and enhances digestive functioning and elimination besides perking up the reproductive system.

Benefits of Pilates

On the other hand, even though Pilates is not as complete and holistic a health system as Yoga, it helps you reach more or less the same physical fitness goals as Yoga. This is achieved through a series of controlled movements and breathing regulation. Pilates is very effective, especially for aesthetic body sculpting and makes the practitioner feel and look tall, lean and svelte.

So, what is better for overall health and fitness, Pilates or Yoga? The answer is a levelheaded blend of the physical and meditative aspects of both systems. On some level, both Yoga and Pilates share the common goal of strengthening the body with the help of ones own body weight for resistance. As a matter of fact, a lot of their movements and postures are very similar. And, just like Yoga, Pilates can also be done as floor exercises if you don not wish to blow money on buying Yoga equipment or Pilates equipment. Pilates is also a lot simpler to learn and easier to understand. It also tends to give quicker results. But, finally, the choice is yours; it depends on your patience level and the goals wish to achieve. Just physical fitness and a fantastic figure or all that together with long-lasting inner peace and happiness.
About the Author
Kevin Pederson, webmaster for Yoga Wiz, your online guide on yoga, fitness and wellness. The unique combination of Yoga and Pilates is a perfect blend where one can enjoy the physical and meditative aspects of both systems.
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