If you recall, one of the perennial dualistic preferences hubby and I have (other than Mac vs PC) is Yoga vs Pilates. Well, I’d like to change my statement for the record: I now don’t have a preference between the two!
In the last year and a half, I’ve focused almost exclusively on yoga, and it has worked very well for me in increasing my strength and flexibility as well as boosting my body’s immunity, curing my sinus and (I strongly suspect) even improving my eyesight. Of late, I’ve begun to incorporate some Pilates exercises at the end of my Yoga practice to boost my core work-out as I feel I could do with greater core stability in my Yoga practice.
In the last 2 days, I tried out the 2 Pilates DVDs that Zibin picked out last year from HMV and MAN, have I fallen in love with Pilates all over again! For one thing, it’s great how my increased fitness level from Yoga enables me to practice Pilates with greater precision (and hence get an even better work-out) than before. But even better is how my Yoga practice has enabled me to find the ‘zen’ in Pilates.
See, where the hard part to Yoga is holding and deepening a pose (working through stillness), the challenge of Pilates is maintaining stability through movement. Though the body is constantly in motion, it is the stillness within the movement that is critical. Finding and maintaining that stillness is what engages and constantly strengthens the body’s core in Pilates.
It helps that Moira Merrithew is an excellent instructor, and that the exercises are demonstrated by an absolutely gorgeous (sweet face, amazing body) and extremely graceful Natalia Haigler (a ballet dancer). If anyone is interested in starting Pilates at home, I highly recommend the Stott Pilates series led by Moira Merrithew (there are plenty of glowing reviews on the internet for you to check out too). You can view the titles on Amazon and purchase them in store at HMV.
I think I’m going to alternate between Yoga and Pilates for my regular practice now. They complement each other beautifully. Besides, it’ll help my home practice from getting stale and that’s great cos I’m someone who gets bored easily! :P
My current home practice DVDs of choice: