What's the difference between Yoga and Pilates?
Modern Pilates is designed to strengthen postural and core muscles and to create proper patterns of movement. This gives your body the correct alignment which in turn enables better function during any other activities you perform whether it's sporting pursuits or just day-to-day things like sitting at a computer.
Having a strong core and postural muscles means that you don't get tired as much during everyday activities and your back is less likely to get injured.
While practicing modern Pilates as taught at Options Studio your breathing is used in a natural way to encourage proper activation of the deep core muscles in the way that medical science tells us they are meant to be used.
The movements in Pilates are done in a controlled and stable manner and stretches are maintained with muscles still active to protect all the body's joints. These exercises can be done on a thick mat which protects the spine or on specialized equipment. Small props are used for modifying the exercises to make them easier or harder depending on individual ability.
After your Pilates class you should feel tall with good control over your body and nice posture.
Yoga has been around for centuries, but some styles of yoga have been developed recently. Most forms of yoga use relaxed breathing and follow fixed poses which may be held statically or flow smoothly depending on the style.
The physical aim of yoga is to gain flexibility and movement of the muscles and joints as well as to relax the body. Many styles of yoga also include an element of meditation and many people find the combination of the physical and mental aspects provide relief from daily stress even when they are at their desk or in stressful situations like driving in bad traffic.
There are hundreds of different schools of yoga, some provide full instructor development and some are less thorough. Since it is possible to hurt yourself during some of the poses if your body is not balanced to begin with it is important to find an experienced and well trained instructor. It is common to see yoga enthusiasts with over-extended spines because the core has become 'too relaxed' over time.