Pi Yo – The Combined Power of Pilates and Yoga

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Yoga and You

Yoga and Pilates the two of the most talked about fitness activities out there today. However, there’s always a dilemma and on going debate on which one of the two is better. While there’s no correct answer, as it’s subjective to exactly what an individual is looking for from them.

PiYo - Pilates Yoga

Yoga meets the needs of a person looking for a low-impact, body toning fitness exercise that improves balance and flexibility along with, the tranquility, relaxation and balance of mind, body and spirit. Yoga will definitely help you stay fit, be more energetic, happier and peaceful in your overall life. If you’re looking for a dynamic workout sans the spirituality, then Pilates is just the thing for you. With core focus on strengthening muscles, improving posture, stabilizing and lengthening the spine, Pilates is an overall vigorous workout and fitness routine.

However to get the best of both worlds you can always combine the two with the new modern blend of the two known as “PiYo”. Pilates Yoga gives you the best of both practices – the stretch from yoga, the strength from pilates, the breathing techniques from yoga with the cardio workout from pilates and finally the relaxing tranquility from yoga meditation together forms a well rounded fitness regime unlike anything else. You can really have it all!

Pilates and Yoga combinedThe two practices although different in principle, have some similarities as  creator Joseph Pilates, was somewhat influenced by the ancient yoga practice. However, his techniques adopted the purely physical aspect of yoga and the postures and exercises he developed are centered around the abdominal muscles, lower back and buttocks referred to as ‘The Powerhouse’. Pilates teaches six principles – concentration, control, centering, breathing, flow and precision. They are aimed at optimizing a full body workout without putting strain on the body itself, with the help of specialized equipment.  Whereas on the other hand, yoga aims at uniting the mind, the body and the spirit through a philosophical and spiritual focus. The physical aspect of yoga, i.e the poses, stretches and  postures are only one of the 8 parts of yoga. Combining the two is a good way of getting more out of both practices.

PiYo classes are conducted in one of two ways:

  • By starting the session with pilates exercises to warm up the muscles and strengthening the core in preparation for a yoga asana practice followed by a relaxing meditation session; or
  • By incorporating the pilates principles for a workout in the form of modified yoga asanas and sequences. For example, scooping the abdomen inward and out before settling into Paschimottanasana, or Seated Forward Bend.

The combination of the two practices is truly a match made in heaven, as they both compliment each other perfectly. The blend of pilates and yoga is well rounded and helps bring about a balance of body, mind and spirit which most other practices can’t achieve on their own. So, if you haven’t already your local yoga studio or gym for Pilates Yoga classes, sometimes called Piyo or Pi-yo.

*Photo credits: photos by myyogaonline, FitnessOrlando on flickr

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Yoga Vs Pilates: What’s the Difference?

February 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Yoga and You

The Combined Power of Yoga and Pilates

Two of the most common words thrown out there today when it comes to fitness- Yoga and Pilates. But what is all the buzz about? Why are they so popular? and most asked… What’s the difference between these two?

Yoga
Yoga Vs Pilates- Yoga AsanasLets start with Yoga. As we’ve seen previously on this site (Read: Energize Your Body & Soul with these Different Types of Yoga, Yoga: A Spiritual Quest for Enlightenment) Yoga is not purely physical activity. In fact it aims at uniting the mind, the body and the spirit through a philosophical and spiritual focus. The physical aspect of yoga, i.e the poses, stretches and  postures are only one of the 8 parts of yoga. While this is the most focused on aspect of Yoga in the west, it only touches the surface of the ancient philosophy  of yoga which is complete lifestyle and not a mere exercise routine. Meditation plays a very important role in Yoga (Read: The Importance of Meditation in Yoga and Our Lives). At the same time however, Yoga can also be interpreted or adapted as a fitness routine as you will see in Power Yoga: The Physically Intensive and Exercise Driven Modern Yoga. While there are yoga props used in some types of yoga like Iyengar Yoga, you can practice it with only a yoga mat.

Yoga Vs Pilates- Yoga

Pilates
Yoga Vs Pilates- PilatesPilates on the other hand is purely physical. It focuses on strengthening the entire body, increasing muscle control, improving flexibility and coordination through exercises centered around the abdominal muscles, lower back and buttocks referred to as ‘The Powerhouse’. Pilates teaches six principles – concentration, control, centering, breathing, flow and precision. This trains the body to move efficiently with minimal impact on the body. Some Pilates exercises are done on just a mat, however, specialized equipment is used in Pilates such as the Reformer, which utilizes pulleys, springs and weight resistance to build strength. The principle behind pilates is to strengthen the core powerhouse (abdomin, lower back and behind) and allowing the rest of the body to move freely, which is why all its exercises abdominal intensive. If the center is strong, it enhances everything from posture to agility.

Pilates Vs Yoga - Pilates

So Which Is Better?
This question is subjective to what an individual is looking for. Yoga meets the needs of a person looking for a low-impact, body toning fitness exercise that improves balance and flexibility along with, the tranquility, relaxation and balance of mind, body and spirit. Yoga will definitely help you stay fit, be more energetic, happier and peaceful in your overall life.

If you’re looking for a dynamic workout sans the spirituality, then Pilates is just the thing for you. With core focus on strengthening muscles, improving posture, stabilizing and lengthening the spine, Pilates is an overall vigorous workout and fitness routine.

However to get the best of both world’s you can always combine the two and practice them in conjunction of each other. Get the stretch from yoga, the strength from pilates, that’ll improve your yoga postures. Breathing techniques from yoga, to help in a pilates sessions and the relaxing tranquility from yoga meditation. Who said you can’t have it all!

*Photo Credits:  photos by Kelly Loves Whales, natalia.sanmartin and gio50000 on flickr

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

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