Sunday, June 6, 2010
The Yoga/Pilates Relationship
This weekend I had an interesting experience. I had to teach a very small segment of Pilates to a room of Yoga Teachers. Now I am an avid yogi myself so am very familiar with yoga poses and principles. I would venture to say that while many of these Yoga Teachers had heard of Pilates, they had never tried it.
I learned a lot from them while teaching this very abbreviated class. While I do believe that Yoga teaches you how to listen to your body, Pilates teaches you how to talk to your body. These instructors struggled to control and focus in on releasing and activating certain muscles as well as move bones in space. Which now makes sense why my yoga instructors have always complimented me on how well I make self adjustments and move subtly within a posture. And don’t get me started on Core...I lead them through the matwork Abdominal Series of Five and they were dying. They were unable to really stabilize the pelvis and shoulder blades and focus on deepening the core. I find sun salutations in Yoga to be an amazing core exercise, as well as vinyasas. So how is it that these ideas are not getting passed along?
I highly recommend Yoga to my students and believe that the two philosophies lend well to one another. Yoga allows one to quiet the mind, dive deeper, flow freer, open up. Pilates awakens the mind, dives deeper to allow you to focus and use the body in the most precise and controlled ways. These two philosophies both stand alone well on their own. The balance of the two is integral, I believe, to a healthy relationship with the human body. Isn’t every relationship about give and take, listening and speaking from the heart, knowing when to hold on and when to let go, strength and flexibility?
I think it’s time to work on the yin and yang of the Yoga and Pilates relationship. The benefits are immeasurable.