Yoga and Pilates. You can find studios and gyms offering these classes in just about any city in the county… So is this just a trendy workout fad or are these really worth the hype? Truth is, both forms of exercise are just as amazing as they seem! Both yoga and pilates are great for strength and flexibility. Both modalities are great for those who are new to exercise as they are low impact and low intensity, and can prepare the muscles for more intense forms of exercise. They are also great for experienced exercisers, as they do work to improve flexibility which can prevent injury and allow for more efficient movements when doing things like lifting weights or running. Both Pilates and yoga are great for cross training purposes for all other forms of exercise or activities; the flexibility and mobility benefits help prevent injury, core work helps with balance and the integrity of the exercise and the mental aspect of pilates and yoga can most definitely help with focus and drive. The added benefit to pilates (over yoga) is the core work that is involved, which helps with overall strength, mobility, balance and longevity (falls for the elderly are the number one cause of injury, so balance is key!!) While yoga works balance as well, Pilates places more emphasis on core work, targeting the smaller, more intricate muscles of the core, those muscles ranging from the shoulders to the hips, and works them in a more isolated way than just in a general sense; so there are specific exercises that will focus on the rectus abdominis, the hip complex, the shoulder girdle etc., whereas yoga poses combine these into each pose. Yoga (for the most part) places more of an emphasis on flexibility and mobility, which could be more appealing to someone looking for a class with less abdominal work or one the moves at a slower pace. The great thing about both yoga and pilates is that there are different styles and class structures no matter where you go, so trying them out and finding one that works for you and that your body enjoys is really key for getting the benefits you are looking for!
Yoga or Pilates can both be intimidating, especially when you see all the fancy Instagram pictures of super fit Instagram models or fitness instructors performing crazy poses and bodies contorted in the most abnormal positions! But in all reality, an every day yoga or Pilates class is not that way. Look for yoga classes listed as Hatha Flow or Vinyasa flow and ones that aren’t mentioned as advanced classes. In a typical Hatha Flow class, movements will be at a moderate pace and all levels can blend in. The same can be said for a mat pilates class. As intimidating as it may sound, just jumping into a mat class is the best way to get started! A well-trained instructor can give modifications for those needing them and all of the movements are safe for all levels and body types…it was created for rehabilitation for injuries, after all! The takeaway here: yoga and Pilates should both be a part of your weekly workout regimen! These classes are considered fundamental classes at inBalance and help create a solid foundation for other inBalance signature classes as well else aid in recovery.