At the end of the private pilates lesson in the last weekend, one client told me the story she heard from her yoga teacher at the local sports club. She said,
“My yoga teacher told me that she cannot do pilates because exercises are too tough. Does it apply to other yoga teachers, too?”
Ah, yes. Yes, I was.
Probably, although it requires some practices at the beginning, if yogis or pilates practitioners cover essence of what they practice, they can easily do both yoga and pilates.
Now, even though I’m not perfect enough, I think I can switch yoga and pilates much easier than before. In the past, however, I wasn’t good at switching. In my case, when I was practicing pilates very hard, I couldn’t take yoga asanas very well.
Because of my experience, I understand that some people can do yoga but not pilates, or vice versa.
But at the same time, from my experience, I’m confident that if yogis practice yoga by focusing on its asana essence, and pilates practitioners focus on its basic principles, everybody can be physically fit for both yoga and pilates.
What to focus on Pilates
As I told, when I was practicing pilates hard, my body was stiff, and I wasn’t good at taking yoga asanas.
It’s not pilate’s fault. The way I practice was wrong.
At that time, I was just imitating the exterior of each exercise, did not pay attention to local stabilizers and local mobilizers (inner muscles, in general). Such wrong movement made my body stiff.
After understanding which muscles to use for each exercises, I learned to get away from following the fancy exterior, took necessary modification to my condition, and finally got to be physically fit for doing yoga asanas.
What to focus on Yoga
Although this is nothing but the inference, if yogis try to do intermediate – advance pilates exercises, I suppose they should practice yoga with the focus on,
- Coordination of breath and motion（for Flow or Vinyasa especially）
If they breath out properly with Ujay breathing, they can easily perform inner muscles in pilates exercises. Alignment, Coordination of breath and motion are equally required in pilates exercises.
And as well, we have better to take away from focusing on the fancy exterior of each yoga asanas.
Ideally, it’s better to be fit for both Yoga & Pilates
Some people say “I cannot tell the difference between yoga and pilates”, and some people say “yoga and pilates are totally different!!!” after experiencing by themselves.
Personally, I think both yoga and pilates share the same root. Only the purpose is the different. And from the difference of the purpose, the characteristics got to be different.
If we divide them Yin & Yang, it can probably be put yoga as “Yin”, and pilates as “Yang”. But if we keep focusing on the essence above, they finally get together.
So, ideally, it’s better to be fit for both yoga & pilates.
If you are practicing either yoga or pilates, I recommend experiencing the other.
It will lead your body to the higher level of balance and condition.
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