Almost everyone knows that if you do either pilates or yoga, you’re doing something amazing for your health and well-being. They’re exercises that can carry you through life in glowing health, fitness and vitality.
Well, what if you do both? Do you get double the benefits?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Believe it or not, there are many similarities between pilates and yoga, as well as a few differences. Whereas yoga focuses a great deal on breathing and postures to keep the mind and body healthy, pilates is more pure mat work, primarily designed to strengthen the core abdominal muscles and stabilize the spine. Combining the two, then, covers all areas: physical, mental and spiritual. People who practice these routines in conjunction with each other almost always report positive experiences and recommend it to others.
Feel like it’s something you could enjoy and stick to? You might be right.
Here are five compelling reasons why you should seriously consider combining the two disciplines into one super-practice:
1) You’ll get aerobic and anaerobic benefits
There are many schools of yoga that are designed to offer an aerobic workout comparable to a brisk stroll or low-to-moderate intensity exercise. This is great for anyone looking to improve their fitness without burning themselves out. On the other hand, pilates focuses on the strengthening of core muscles and balance, which can help your muscles to grow stronger and appear more ‘toned’. Combining the two, then, offers a unique path to aerobic and anaerobic mastery, one that is more based on aware activity and mindfulness than the sometimes mindless gym routines that people undertake.
2) You’ll lose weight
While neither of these practices are necessarily focused on burning calories (a 50 minute hatha yoga session reportedly burns approximately 145 calories, while a power yoga class can wipe off around 250 calories), studies have shown that people who practice yoga are more likely to gain less weight as they get older when compared to non-practicing people. Pilates, at a beginner level, can burn around 175 calories. However, a fairly sizable 375 calories can be burned in an advanced session (plenty of reasons to get practicing!). Combining the disciplines three to five times a week in one-hour sessions while maintaining a healthy, calorie-controlled diet will quickly excel you in the direction of excellent health.
3) You’ll get stronger and increase your flexibility simultaneously
There’s no arguing the profound benefits yoga can have on flexibility. Recent studies have shown that eight weeks of three-times-a-week yoga sessions is enough to boost your overall flexibility by twenty-four percent! People were also able to manage an average of six more push-ups and 14 more curl ups as well. Add that to the fact that pilates is specifically designed to target those stubborn abdominal muscles and is a staggering 310 percent more effective at targeting your obliques. Enhanced flexibility in tight areas such as the hips, back and hamstrings is also a given for consistent exercisers.
4) You’ll become more peaceful and graceful
Over 3,000 years old, various methods in the yoga tradition are renowned throughout the ages for rapid and measurable results in concentration and relaxation. Ancient practices such as Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga are perhaps the best known for this, though all of the various derivatives focus on breathing and postures to keep the mind and body healthy. As a result of advanced practices, yoga can help you strengthen your muscles, providing better joint stability, cultivating mind-body awareness and making them appear longer. It is not uncommon for regular practitioners to report some increase in height as their posture improves and their spine elongates! Adding pilates adds a more dynamic, resistance-focused element that will harden your stomach and prevent injury. Doing both together will result in a long, lean and athletic body!
5) You’ll discover more about your body and mind
Unlike many other workout regimens, combining pilates and yoga can help you increase your awareness and inner-body harmony. Instead of aiming solely at a muscular or attractive body, by doing both of these practices simultaneously, you’re aiming for something much greater. Consistent application will unfailingly lead to high levels of spiritual, mental and physical fitness, which will then flow into your life and create more meaningful experiences and relationships.
The act of combining pilates and yoga as a method to rapidly enhance your physical health and wellness is now a widespread opinion and supported by many fitness experts. Not only is it a supported theory, it has evolved into a full-blown movement, aptly called Yogalates.
Try combining the two yourself and see if works for you!