The terms ‘Yoga’ and ‘Pilates’ have been thrown around a lot recently. You may have heard that these forms of exercise are an amazing way to improve strength and flexibility. But you might not know what the difference between the two is, and which one you should try.

What is Yoga?

Yoga involves a series of exercises that focus on the use of breathing, body movement and meditation to create a fusion between mind, body and soul. It is the emphasis on the spiritual aspect of this practice that most differentiates yoga from Pilates.

What is Pilates?

Pilates involves more discipline than yoga, featuring very targeted exercises that pinpoint physical strength, flexibility and posture. Pilates is not just limited to mat exercises on the floor, but can also be practiced on reformer machines, wall barres and exercise balls.

How can Yoga and Pilates help you?

Regular Yoga and Pilates can help to improve your overall strength, balance, flexibility and mobility because they both holistically work the body’s muscles.

If you want to prioritise deeply working the strength and flexibility of your muscles and joints, right into the fascia, whilst also connecting to your mind and spirit, Yoga is a wise choice for you.

Or, if you prefer to focus on core development, body toning, flexibility, overall body strength and control, then Pilates could be your go-to.

If you still can’t decide between the two –  Why not try both?

How can you incorporate both Yoga and Pilates into your lifestyle?

For those not yet ready for a full commitment, Yoga and Pilates can be introduced very simply into your everyday life at home. Just five to ten minutes of basic exercises drawn from the two practices can produce a number of flexibility improvements.

Once you’ve managed to roll out of bed in the morning, try the following 3 positions to limber up for the day ahead. Remember to sink deeply into each position for at least 30-60 seconds, and don’t forget to breathe!

POSTION 1: Standing forward bend

Stand with your back up against a wall with your best posture. Hinge forward from the hips as far as you can go, reaching with your hands toward your toes. As you do this, try to keep a straight back. Repeat this 3-4 times at a steady pace to warm up your body, avoiding any injury from static, cold stretching of the muscles.

This is a great position to:

  • Stretch out your hips, hamstrings and calves
  • Loosen up a tight back

POSITION 2: Extended puppy pose

Position yourself on all fours with your toes sitting flat against the floor, and then walk your hands forward. Lower your forehead to the floor whilst maintaining a small curve in your lower back.

This is a great position to:

  • Stretch out your spine, shoulders, abdominals and upper back muscles
  • Release tension held in the neck

POSITION 3: Figure 4 stretch

Don’t overdo this one. Lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Start by crossing your right ankle over your left knee, then clasp your hand around your left thigh. Pull gently toward your chest to feel a stretch in the right hip. Repeat this on the other side.

This is a great position to:

  • Stretch your sciatica, glutes and piriformis
  • Improve mobility of hips

It might take a while to get your body used to these new Yoga and Pilates movements. If you experience any joint pain, our Flexofytol curcumin supplement might be right for you. Targeted at symptoms of mild arthritis, this anti-inflammatory formula might assist with your joint mobility and may limit cartilage wear.

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