Mind Body Connection

Physical exercise is an important part of the detox process. Exercise that involves mindfulness, is grounding for your energy and will leave you calm and centered at the end of a workout as opposed to hyped up and sweaty.

As a Pilates Teacher I am often asked the difference between Yoga and Pilates.  Preference of either seems to be likened to being a cat or a dog person.  Whilst I am definitely a dog person I can appreciate the merits of Yoga and Pilates respectively and enjoy the practice of both.

As much as I practice yoga I do not regard myself an expert by any means so I will leave the explanation of yoga to the experts.

In my experience Yoga is a more spiritual practice that flows through a sequence of postures known as Asanas with the aim to calm and prepare the mind for meditation. There are various systems and practices of Yoga. and the benefits are similar to those of Pilates in that it will increase strength and flexibility, improves posture and alignment and unites the whole body in movement.

Pilates is a mind body exercise that finds its origins in Germany with a man named Joseph Pilates.  Joseph Pilates designed exercise apparatus for rehabilitation purposes during WW1 and developed his method of training from a background in gymnastics, boxing and skiing. 

Pilates called his method- Contrology as it trains the mind to control the muscles of the body with the aim to increase both strength and flexibilty.  Unlike Yoga it has no spiritual element and focuses on functional anatomy as its base.  There is a strong emphasis on the core muscles and creating balance between opposing muscle groups in the body as well as improving posture and alignment.   A good Pilates session will flow seamlessly from one sequence to the next.  It will be balanced in movement patterns and address any weaknesses, imbalances or tightness that the client may present in order to establish free movement, increased strength and a return to muscular balance.  It has long been praised by dancers as it increases strength without creating bulk.

Both Pilates and Yoga will help you to become more aware of your bodies posture, alignment and movement patterns and both require concentration, discipline and presence.

Opposing muscle groups:  Muscles that create opposing movement patterns.  For example your biceps will flex (bend) the arm at the elbow joint whilst your triceps work to extend (straighten) the arm at the elbow joint.

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