Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yoga and Pilates

My love for yoga and pilates

I love yoga, I have been doing yoga and pilates for over 5 years now, and it has kept my body in shape and help to relieve stress from life,work,etc. Yoga and pilates is a excellent way to stay in shape and relieve stress. I workout 5 days a week, yoga and pilates are the first to my workout before I move into any other workots such as ab workout,squats,a little cardio,etc.

Yoga -History and Benefits

info found on

Increasing Flexibility – yoga has positions that act upon the various joints of the body including those joints that are never really on the ‘radar screen’ let alone exercised.

Increasing lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons – likewise, the well-researched yoga positions exercise the different tendons and ligaments of the body.

Surprisingly it has been found that the body which may have been quite rigid starts experiencing a remarkable flexibility in even those parts which have not been consciously work upon. Why? It is here that the remarkable research behind yoga positions proves its mettle. Seemingly unrelated “non strenuous” yoga positions act upon certain parts of the body in an interrelated manner. When done together, they work in harmony to create a situation where flexibility is attained relatively easily.

Massaging of ALL Organs of the Body – Yoga is perhaps the only form of activity which massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner, including those – such as the prostate - that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on the various body parts. This stimulation and massage of the organs in turn benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder.

One of the far-reaching benefits of yoga is the uncanny sense of awareness that it develops in the practitioner of an impending health disorder or infection. This in turn enables the person to take pre-emptive corrective action

Complete Detoxification – By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body. This helps in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny as well as providing nourishment up to the last point. This leads to benefits such as delayed ageing, energy and a remarkable zest for life.

Excellent toning of the muscles – Muscles that have become flaccid, weak or slothy are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess flab and flaccidity.

Harness the power of yoga and gain the 3-fold Advantage of Fitness + Freedom from Stress + Happiness...Details

But these enormous physical benefits are just a “side effect” of this powerful practice. What yoga does is harmonize the mind with the body and this results in real quantum benefits. It is now an open secret that the will of the mind has enabled people to achieve extraordinary physical feats, which proves beyond doubtthe mind and body connection.

Yoga through meditation works remarkably to achieve this harmony and helps the mind work in sync with the body. How often do we find that we are unable to perform our activities properly and in a satisfying manner because of the confusions and conflicts in our mind weigh down heavily upon us? Moreover, stress which in reality is the #1 killer affecting all parts of our physical, endocrinal and emotional systems can be corrected through the wonderful yoga practice of meditation.

In fact yoga = meditation, because both work together in achieving the common goal of unity of mind, body and spirit – a state of eternal bliss.

The meditative practices through yoga help in achieving an emotional balance through detachment. What it means is that meditation creates conditions, where you are not affected by the happenings around you. This in turn creates a remarkable calmness and a positive outlook, which also has tremendous benefits on the physical health of the body.

These are just some of the tangible benefits that can be achieved through yoga.

Having seen this, it is educative to note why the ancient yogis performed yoga and the interdependence of yoga and meditation. The ultimate goal of the yogis was “self realization” or “enlightenment”, a concept, which perhaps is quite esoteric to you and me.

But what is interesting is that for this they had to meditate for extensive spells of time – days,weeks and much more. This required tremendous physical fitness, energy and the capacity to subsist on next to nothing. Yoga positions or asanas provided them the fullest fitness with the least metabolism or stress and meditation in turn provided them the strength and will to perform these asanas effectively – a virtuous cycle of cause and effect. This mutually symbiotic relationship helped them in their path.

Pilates -History and Benefits

info found on

What is Pilates? An innovative system of mind-body exercise evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates.

Pilates dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. It builds strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and a flat abdomen.

It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. Pilates improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain.

Professional dancers have known the benefits of Pilates for decades. Top athletes use it for strength, flexibility, and injury prevention. Hollywood celebrities and supermodels use it to maintain beautiful physiques.

A miracle? Not really. Developed from the rehabilitation techniques of Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a safe, sensible exercise system using a floor mat or equipment, that will help you look and feel your very best. No matter what your age or condition, it will work for you.

The Benefits of Pilates
A refreshing mind-body workout
Pilates gets your mind in tune with your body. By emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become acutely aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how to control its movement. The quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential, and helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency. Last but not least, learning to breathe properly can reduce stress.

Build strength without "bulking up" - gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
Conventional workouts tend to build short, bulky muscles - the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.

Develop a strong core - flat abdominals and a strong back
Building on the principles of Joseph Pilates, Pilates exercises develop a strong "core," or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.

Create an evenly conditioned body and prevent sports injuries
In conventional workouts, weak muscles tend to get weaker and strong muscles tend to get stronger. The result is muscular imbalance - a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain. Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease and less chance of injury.

Learn efficient patterns of motion
Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion - invaluable for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.

Be confident and safe
No other exercise system is so gentle to your body while giving it a challenging workout. Many of the exercises are performed in reclining or sitting positions, and most are low impact and partially weight bearing. Pilates is so safe, it is used in physical therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.

And be challenged
Pilates is also an extremely flexible exercise system. Modifications to the exercises allow for a range of difficulty ranging from beginning to advanced. Get the workout that best suits you now, and increase the intensity as your body conditioning improves.

Try it!
New to Pilates and wondering how to get started? Visit our Personal Pilates pages to learn more about the benefits of Pilates using mats or equipment, at a studio or at home. Plus great Pilates products we recommend to get you started. To find a studio, club, rehab facility or wellness center near you that offers Pilates, visit our Pilates Studio Finder.