I get asked all the time:
"Kicki, should I do pilates or yoga? Which is better?"
I also often hear from long time yogis, that "I just like yoga. Pilates is not my thing."
Yet, they know something is missing when they consistently are bothered by a tight shoulder or painful lower back.
My answer to the above question is: Do both!
You get the great healing benefits from both yoga and pilates. When we try to recover from an injury several modalities are often needed.
My experience is that most yoga classes focus on opening and stretching the body. Pilates both stretches and strengthens the body on a deep level but is more focused on strengthening.
The body needs both.
If you focus on only opening and stretching your body, you will lose strength and you are more prone to injuries.
Have you ever heard/ or have you ever said yourself: "I'm falling apart" when in pain?
I hear it all the time- and yes, it is true!You are!
As we age we lose collagen, our hormone levels change, mother earth is preparing to kick us off the earth by breaking our "cushions" (cartilage, collagen, disks, bursas) down. Your joints might start to hurt, or you feel tighter than you used to, and maybe you have less "spring" in your strides when you walk or run.
Joints are supposed to hold our limbs in place. When joints throughout life have been stretched out, and in some cases ripped, the muscles try to do the joints job; keeping your limbs in place. Muscles become fatigued from overuse, you get tired, and before sooner than later, you are injured.
With pilates we work on a strong midline of the body- a strong core. Every movement should start from there. As your center becomes stronger, you will soon notice that you feel more flexible and have more energy.
Some think that pilates is all about squats and sit ups. This is absolutely wrong!
Pilates is an exercise system for the whole body, with every movement starting with the center engaged, but nothing could be more wrong than thinking pilates is about pushing your body to do squats and sit ups. If you have encountered that class, I would encourage you to stop, and instead seek a professional and fully certified pilates instructor, who knows how to help your body build up the strength from deep within.