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How Pilates Benefits Yoga

Joseph Pilates famously said, “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.”There’s a reason BodyMindLife transformed from just a yoga studio to offering reformer Pilates too. The practice has been on the rise all over the world for injury rehab and prevention, weight-loss, helping new mums post-birth, and creating long, lean muscles. Reformer Pilates has also been touted by those who love to run, surf or play high-impact sports, but did you know adding a weekly class to your yoga routine can transform your practice? Here are some of the ways Pilates can help you become a better yogi:

Less flexible on one side?In our asana practice our strongest muscles tend to dominate, winding up even stronger. Pilates works both the left and right sides of the body, evening out muscle imbalances.

Seeking steadiness in standing poses?Pilates increases stability, improving your ability to balance in poses like Warrior 3, Tree, Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose and Bird of Paradise.

Want to feel light in inversions?Pilates builds core strength, which increases your body control when you’re upside down - think poses like Scorpion, Handstands and Headstands.

Working on your Chaturanga?Reformer Pilates teaches your shoulder muscles to properly engage so that you don’t strain your shoulder joints.

Battling injuries?Injuries in yoga are often a result of excess pressure placed on incorrectly stacked joints. The pressure can lead to damage of the articular surface of the joint, eventually wearing away the the cartilage and destroying the synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints. Pilates activates the muscles around our joints, helping to stabilise and protect them, so that we can lift up and out – safely resisting our body weight and helping us to create space in our body.

Working on jump backs or floating?Pilates directly targets our Uddiyana Bandha, or lower abdominal and psoas muscles, giving us greater access to our physical centre of gravity so we can fly with lightness and control.

Having a hard time in Hanumanasana (Forward Splits)?You can stretch your hammies ’till the cows come home but if your joints aren’t stable you won’t be able to do the Splits. Pilates increases stability in your joints so that your muscles become more flexible.

Want to backbend beautifully into Camel or Wheel?Our muscles work on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, which means that they act in pairs and coordinate with each other by simultaneously relaxing and contracting. Pilates builds strength in your abdominal muscles which contract and allow our back muscles to release so we have more freedom in our backbends.

Holding your breath in some postures?There is huge focus on breathwork in both Yoga and reformer Pilates. While Pilates practices are different to Yogic pranayama, they hone your lower bandhas enabling you to channel your breath when you need it most. You can combine reformer Pilates and yoga with a single all-inclusive membership at BodyMindLife. Check-out our different studio pricing options here.

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