Yoga and Pilates – Do They Really Help Me in the Long Run? Yes! They Absolutely Do

Body awareness, a highly regarded Eastern philosophy, is one of the first steps to mind-body wellness and good self-care. A combination of yoga and Pilates facilitates this healthy path of discovery and health. In our Western culture, the freedom of expression and the opportunity of compassion towards oneself are often sacrificed in order to achieve material pursuits. This results in stress which takes its toll on both the body and the mind in the form of obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression. To prevent these additions working with Pilates is a perfect outlet with its emphasis on flexibility, core strength, and balance which will help prevent injuries, reduce stress and increase body awareness.

There are powerful benefits that enhance emotional well-being, which prevent anxiety and depression, and will lead to more fulfilling life. A healthy frame of mind and a sense of freedom can lead to an inner calm and confidence. Since Pilates and yoga are not fads or quick fixes, they are not boring either. You must have a clear mind because both Pilates and yoga require focus and mindfulness. Both techniques require proper breathing, complete concentration, attention to precision and control and deliberate movements.

These systems complement one another because they require a brain-body connection. They also create a well-balanced and creative work out. These modes of exercise require the lengthening of muscles and facilitating power from the core. Your posture will become better as you develop an awareness of the working body as a whole rather than working isolated muscles, like you would in the gym. Areas that were once tight and stiff will begin to open up and you will gain ease throughout your body because you move in so many directions.

An exercise to practice regularly is to pull your lower abdominal region, specifically your belly button, inward. This can be done either standing or on the mat, and definitely while you’re going about your normal routine during the day. This action will strengthen your lower back and improve your posture. With awareness, carefully drawing in your navel and stomach to the point where you create a flat abdominal wall and lengthen the back. This will feel like you’re narrowing your pelvis. You want to reinforce a muscle contraction. Remember to try to lengthen the base of your spine and draw the tailbone downward to your heels. Do not suck in your stomach because that would require you holding your breath. You want to be able to breathe normally.

Mentally, if you connect your belly to your back, yoga and Pilates [] movements will feel more natural. The bodies that we have can move in three dimensions. Remember to breathe mindfully, to start your navel and draw your muscles up and inward and to continue breathing while moving your attention to your sides and around the back. Some Pilates workout [] can be easier than others but all require the same mental focus. Remember, that you are an entity of body, mind and spirit working in tandem.

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