“How can I benefit from practicing Pilates?”
This has been a common question from many. Although the answer to this question can vary depending on who you study with, what your movement background is, and what other movement modalities you include in your workout schedule, there are many reasons why I feel that Pilates can be so helpful for yogis when included into your weekly workout schedule.
Pilates has changed my body and has even changed how I practice yoga. Here, I present 4 reasons why every yogi can benefit from incorporating Classical Pilates into their practice.
#1: There are no pulling motions in yoga.
In yoga, there are no actions in which you pull. I have heard of the suggestion of doing pull-ups, but in Pilates, you acquire the opportunity to learn what muscles should be engaged when you pull from your back muscles and what muscles you should initiate from when you perform those pull-ups.
#2 Pilates works your entire body – all the way down to your toes!
There are certain parts of the body that you don’t really get the chance to strengthen in yoga classes; your toes are a great example of this. Have you heard of the toe corrector exercises in Pilates? If you haven’t, check out this blog post by my teacher Pamela Debiase! Pilates doesn’t just work your core; it was created to work and correct every part of your body.
#3 Pilates can help correct imbalances.
Have you ever found yourself feeling as if your right side is stronger than the left, or vice versa? Have you ever wondered where your imbalances are coming from? When you’re working out under the watchful supervision of Pilates Teachers, there’s just no way to hide your imbalances from them. Joseph Pilates was a genius – his exercises can reveal your most subtle imbalances and help correct unevenness, which can in turn also help you find where your imbalances are coming from when you are on your yoga mat.
#4 Pilates can help complement and strengthen your yoga practice.
For instance, if you’re working on your backbends, Pilates will help you find and strengthen the right muscles to protect your lower back and prevent injury. Pilates is also a great way to strengthen your body for inversions and arm balances, and you’ll get plentiful opportunities to work on the “hollow body” for your handstands.
If you have yet to try Pilates or have not yet tried practicing consistently, give it a go and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your thoughts!
A big thank you to my teachers at Westwood Pilates for keeping me grounded as I continue to train with them. I am so looking forward to continuing to learn with you all.