The main reasons why people want to start doing yoga is to become fitter, more energetic, happier and peaceful. Yoga works on your mind, body and spirit. Working on these three through yoga can have positive effects of harmonising the body and encouraging it to heal. It does so by making you more aware of your posture, improves your flexibility and proper alignment. It helps the body heal in times of stress, whether it is mental stress or physical stress. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and continues to be practiced because of its physical and mental health benefits it offers.
Yoga has many of the same qualities as Pilates such as improving your breathing, achieving proper alignment, increasing muscle strength, improve balance, improving flexibility, improving body control, increasing endurance and reducing stress. It also has many of the same benefits when compared with other exercise, such as running, walking, swimming and cycling etc. Below is a table of comparison between yoga (and Pilates) and other exercise.
|Yoga (and Pilates) Benefits||Other Exercise Benefits|
|– Movements are slow or static.- Normalisation of muscle tone.- Risk of injury to muscle and joints is lower.– Slow caloric burn off.
– Small effort (Relaxed).
– Level of inhale/exhale of breath is natural and relaxed.
– Balance of opposing muscle groups.
– Non-competitive, not goal orientated.
– Internal Awareness; concentrating on your breathing, mind, and spirit, through its meditation.
– Limitless growth for health and self-awareness (Mind, body and spirit tri-factor).
|– Moves are fast or forceful.- Increased muscle tone.- Risk of injury to muscle and joints is higher.– Faster caloric burn off.
– Large effort (Not Relaxed – Stressed).
– Level of inhale/exhale of breath is more rapid and stressed.
– Imbalance of opposing muscle groups.
– Competitive and goal orientated.
– External Awareness; how your body looks from the outside and how it performs.
– Can be repetitive, mostly due to the goal factor.
If you wish to do a form of exercise that is slow, relaxing, but still has benefits such working on your breathing, alignment, strength, balance, flexibility, body control, endurance and stress, then I highly recommend yoga, or even try Pilates.