Pilates Vs Yoga – A New Viewpoint

If you pay attention in workshop that conducted by Pilates teacher training Sydney you will really lose weight. Which is better? How are they similar? how are they different? This review of two of the most popular forms of exercise is a brief but comprehensive viewpoint from one of today’s leading Pilates instructors who has also taught yoga for many 35 years.

Breathing

Pilates and yoga are oddly similar and at the same time deeply different when it comes to breathing. Both methods emphasize breathing, but take it in different directions.

Breathing is one the most important principle in Pilates. Joseph Pilates, the founder, stressed breathing in his books and in his instruction.

According to my teacher and ‘Pilates Elder’ Mary Bowen, Joseph Pilates never developed any special breathing mechanics, though several techniques were developed after his death by some of his students. Joe Pilates did create breathing patterns to accompany each exercise, natural breathing that allows full and frequent breaths while you move. The effect is exhilarating, and in fact, Pilates is known for being energizing rather than exhausting even after the most rigorous workout.

Yoga far exceeds Pilates in the development of particular breathing mechanics. The complexity and depth of pranayama (breathing) yoga techniques include breathing through different nostrils in different patterns of inhalation, exhalation and holding the breath, all designed to create and move energy in the body. I’ve explored breathing techniques in Pilates and yoga and have found both to be highly energizing.

Mind and Body

Few exercise methods connect the mind and the body like Pilates and yoga.

Focussing your attention on your movement is key to both methods. Yoga goes a step further by adding a spiritual or religious dimension with meditation and in certain traditions chanting and devotion to the teacher.

History

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1883. He studied all forms of exercise available in his day including eastern forms such as yoga. He first developed his method nearly 100 years ago.

He moved to New York in the 60’s and first introduced his method to the dance community where it was an instant hit. From there it gained worldwide popularity. It is used by elite athletes, celebrities and physical therapist, and is particularly effective for physical rehabilitation such as back pain.

Since the death of Joe Pilates in the late 60’s, the method has morphed into many schools and fusions such as yogalates, Zumbalates, tangolates and even piloxing (Pilates and boxing).

In contrast yoga goes back thousands of years. The earliest evidence appears on 4500 year old seals from the Indus Valley. Experts agree that the yoga tradition is probably much older. Light on Yoga, universally considered the bible of yoga, lists hundreds of treatments for illnesses using particular yoga positions.

Yaga has also morphed into many different schools and fusions.

No Machinery

Though both methods readily use balls, bands and other props, neither require any equipment. You can do them anywhere and anytime – the ultimate in convenience.

There is specially designed equipment for Pilates, but it is not necessary. In fact, the mat exercise routine which uses no equipment is the original Pilates method which Joe Pilates called ‘Contrology.’

Stretching

No review of these two exercise methods should ever neglect their distinct forms of stretching. Yet no other discussion I’ve ever read does!

Yoga features static stretching. This means holding a position while your muscles stretch. In contrast, Pilates is dynamic stretch where muscles lengthen while you move. Research indicates more benefits from dynamic stretching due to increased muscle recovery and decreased risk of injury.

Speaking from personal experience as a teacher and practitioner of both Pilates and hatha yoga, I find static stretch wonderful for relaxation and stress relief. On the other hand, I find dynamic stretch a better choice for joint and back pain relief and for improving athletic performance.

Strength and Cardio

Exercise science has proven that our bodies need 3 distinct kinds of exercise – strength training, stretching and cardiovascular conditioning popularly referred to as cardio or aerobics. These three essential exercises are rarely included in one method. Pilates always includes 2 – stretching and strength training. Advanced Pilates mat exercises also include cardio for an unusually complete exercise method.

By contrast yoga is primarily stretching and rarely includes strength training or cardio. There are exceptions such as the very athletic forms of yoga found in the Iyengar, Ashtanga and Bikram methods.

Which Is Better?

I believe I can offer an interesting perspective on this question, because I’ve practiced and taught both for nearly 4 decades. In my experience you get more of a spiritual dimension from yoga, as well as relaxation. However, research shows that any exercise is very effective at relieving stress. But if you want a complete exercise with strength building, stretching and cardio, Pilates is my favorite choice.

Bob is an advanced certified Pilates instructor with nearly 4 decades of experience. He was taught by the ‘Pilates Elder’ Mary Bowen, and is the author of several popular instructional ebooks and videos specializing in the original athletic style of Pilates mat exercise. Click here for more Pilates videos!

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Amazing Discovery – Using Pilates to Relieve Chronic Neck Pain

Pilates Northern Beaches is a method of exercise and physical movement that is suitable for people of all ages & abilities, and is designed to strengthen, stretch and balance the body. Neck muscles becomes tired and stressed from long hours of holding the same position. It happens only when you sit for hours and hours in front of a computer. It’s no surprise that one of the most common health conditions of our time is neck pain.

Neck pain and sore neck are usual complaints associated with simple everyday activities like reading for hours in the same position, holding the arms still like carrying your babies when she or he is asleep. If your posture is bad, you don’t realize all these can place strain and stress on the muscles, tissues, tendons, and ligaments of the neck. These cause the tendons to shorten, ligaments to lose tensile strength, and neck muscles to undergo spasm.

Pilates pain relief exercise methods can help relieve you of all these aches and pains caused by your daily activities, be it at home or at work

Causes and Symptoms of Neck Pain
The neck spine, which we called “Cervical Spine” is a segment of 7 vertebrae – C1 to C7. It is basically made up of bones, joints, and discs held together by muscles, tendons and ligaments. The cervical spine is slightly curved as it comes down from the back of the skull and it is very easy to strain it if not careful. The musculature holding this section is sensitive and tires quickly because it has to support the cervical spine. So if any of these facets get injured, it is likely that you will suffer pain in the neck that may gradually increase over the following days or weeks, which could eventually lead to chronic neck pain.

It is also due to bad posture that contributes to most neck pain, such as sleeping incorrectly, on your stomach or sleeping with no neck support. Most people also get stiff neck by unintentionally sleeping on the wrong pillow or on their arms.

Many people find it hard to sit up with the proper posture for many hours. The hunched forward position for long periods of time means the spine is not properly supported. In fact, it is not in its desired position. Since the same routine happens every single day at work, it will eventually become a vicious cycle that will cause the neck muscles to become tense and sore.

Tips for Using Pilates for Neck Pain Relief

1. Good Form
The objective of pilates neck pain exercises is to release tension and stress and in time to teach yourself how to do it. If you are in some sort of pain, keep the movements soft and gentle. It is also crucial to be always mindful of your own form and posture.

To get an idea of the principle of good form, start by trying to maintain a long neck and a lifted chest that is open, soft and relaxed. To that, add space between the shoulder blades as well as the feeling that your arms are long and they hang lightly from the ends of your shoulders.

2. Train with Professionals
Train with an experienced pilates instructor who has worked with students with the same health history. They are more likely to be able to give specific exercises routines to help you achieve better results in a shorter time. It’s important to inform your pilates instructor about your neck condition so that the right approach can be initiated.

3. Start with Private One on One Session
Your best bet will be to start with private one-on-one sessions as it will cater to your needs better. Group sessions, though small may not help you to achieve your goals. You will have a lot to learn. The results depend on your understanding on how to build a strong sense of awareness. Everyone has a specific mix of reasons for neck and shoulder tension. Therefore, you will need your instructor’s undivided attention in order to learn this.

Pilates exercises for Neck Pain

Pilates focuses on alignment of the spine, engagement of the core muscles and good breathing mechanics, using stretching and strength building methods. The following gentle exercises can relieve the pain caused by tense, knotted neck muscles and at the same time improve posture.

1. Shoulder lifts
Sit on a chair with your back straight as in the tip 1 above. Relax your arms, neck and shoulders. Inhale while lifting the shoulders up, all the way to your ears. Exhale as you let your shoulders drop away from the neck. Repeat the movements five times while maintaining long extended neck alignment.

2. Neck Turns
Rest your hands on the thighs and hold your neck in neutral position, looking straight ahead. Check that your jaw is straight and parallel to the floor. To start, inhale and exhale gently turn the head to the right side. Inhale again in this position while the neck is being stretched, and then exhale as the head rotates back to the center. Do the same movement this time rotating to the other side. Repeat this drill four more times while maintaining a long neck.

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Pilates – A Great Exercise For Arthritis Sufferers

Pilates instructor course will actually introduce to you a new physical fitness system. Joseph Pilates was the person who started it in Germany in the beginning of the 20th century. Now it is spread all over the world. Joseph H. Pilates worked on the theme of focus, accuracy, control, deep breathing and flowing movements. This method is based on contrology that means as mind controls all functions of body it also controls muscles and by empowering the link between mind and muscles through Pilate’s physical fitness can be attained.

Flexibility, strength and stamina building are the focusing points of Pilates. In the beginning these were the treatment of patients that can not move as the founder being nurse, practiced these on patients of World War 1 but after that become popular among the dancers, gymnasts, stunt men and actors of films. Now it is founded an effective cure for the patients of arthritis.

Pilates and Arthritis

Arthritis is diseases of joints in the body. That may be in the form of stiffness, pain or swelling in the joints. There are different rheumatic conditions from minor pains to severe complications that can take a person even up to death. The main types of arthritis are of backbone, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, and other joint pains. These pains become barrier in the way of a healthy routine life. People go through these suffering for a long time assuming that these pains can not leave them. Pilates exercises can help these people to decrease their suffering in ten sessions or less.

Pilates exercises make link between mind and body strong. It is strange that we neglect our pains until they become so severe that daily routine activities become difficult. Pain killers are not a constant solution of these pains as pains come back again and again until a solid treatment is done. Even after surgery they face the same problem. Now people have recognized the effects of these exercises. The main reasons are tight knots and activate points. With Pilate’s exercises you can easily through away these problems because pilates is a great exercise for arthritis sufferers. You have the choice as Pilates include mat exercises and exercises with instruments.

Why Experts for Effective Results

You can not start these exercises without having training from some expert or under the supervision of experts if you want the accurate and hundred percent results. Without learning the basics you may cause damage to your muscles. These exercises are for special points so with manual guidelines and training videos you can start them but it is advised to start it under supervision of instructor.

Every joint in our body has specific angles so for each joint pain there is a specific exercise that is fully different from the other joint. Spiky ball type soft apparatus is also used for this purpose. The exercise effective for backbone is not effective for neck pain. Only the expert can guide you the exact type and procedure of exercise that can help you to get relief from these unwanted pains.

Deep breathing and concentration during these exercises increases the mind power and automatically weak links of the body are activated. Pilates concentrate on deeper and core muscles to activate effective body movements. So it is especially found effective for arthritis.

Why Is Winsor Pilates Circle The Perfect Tools With The Beginners

The Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle can be a ring accessory that is certainly incorporated to common Pilates instructor course workouts. Its major edge is the fact that it forces focus on precise muscle types usually tricky to tone by rising the volume of resistance that goes into them. This bonus happens inside a compact, economical, and easy-to-carry offer.

Utilizing the Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle is very simple and it targets the proper places efficiently without the user tiring out in the method. This can be due to the fact the workout routines, specially those people that come while using DVDs when adopted correct, involve fulfilling dance strikes. The upbeat routines in fact resemble individuals of an aerobics work out, only that Pilates burns extra calories and extra fat.

Employing the Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle among a single’s thighs, as an example, lets you tone your internal thighs�”a difficult-to-reach area that’s frequently still left poorly toned and sculpted when other training regimens or implements are used.

The Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle also develops the triceps and biceps effectively via the resistance a individual will have to exert in keeping the circle involving a person’s hands.

And mainly because it doesn’t necessitate sudden jerky moves, the possibility of sustaining injury around the utilization of this product or service is nil.

The Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle can come that has a sculpting circle�”a pair of padded rubbers connected on the two sides. A obtain of your product or service also often includes instructional DVDs normally containing a 20-minute Circle workout, 50-minute accelerated Fat-Burning Workout, and 10-minute “Sculpting Blast Workout.”

As in other sculpting accessories right now, it also comes with its extremely unique development chart so the individual can easily monitor how he or she is executing in his or her Pilates exercise. Aside from this, a Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle bundle also happens which has a cookbook and an workout planner, which might be incredibly useful equipment in creating just about every individual’s Pilates regimen environment friendly. All in all, a Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle might range from US$7 to US$10.

Why Is Winsor Pilates Circle The Perfect Tools With The Beginners

Neck, back & shoulder pain are the focus of remedial massage Northern Beaches. The Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle can be a ring accessory that is certainly incorporated to common Pilates workouts. Its major edge is the fact that it forces focus on precise muscle types usually tricky to tone by rising the volume of resistance that goes into them. This bonus happens inside a compact, economical, and easy-to-carry offer.

Utilizing the Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle is very simple and it targets the proper places efficiently without the user tiring out in the method. This can be due to the fact the workout routines, specially those people that come while using DVDs when adopted correct, involve fulfilling dance strikes. The upbeat routines in fact resemble individuals of an aerobics work out, only that Pilates burns extra calories and extra fat.

Employing the Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle among a single’s thighs, as an example, lets you tone your internal thighs�”a difficult-to-reach area that’s frequently still left poorly toned and sculpted when other training regimens or implements are used.

The Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle also develops the triceps and biceps effectively via the resistance a individual will have to exert in keeping the circle involving a person’s hands.

And mainly because it doesn’t necessitate sudden jerky moves, the possibility of sustaining injury around the utilization of this product or service is nil.

The Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle can come that has a sculpting circle�”a pair of padded rubbers connected on the two sides. A obtain of your product or service also often includes instructional DVDs normally containing a 20-minute Circle workout, 50-minute accelerated Fat-Burning Workout, and 10-minute “Sculpting Blast Workout.”

As in other sculpting accessories right now, it also comes with its extremely unique development chart so the individual can easily monitor how he or she is executing in his or her Pilates exercise. Aside from this, a Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle bundle also happens which has a cookbook and an workout planner, which might be incredibly useful equipment in creating just about every individual’s Pilates regimen environment friendly. All in all, a Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle might range from US$7 to US$10.

Fabricated from resistant plastic fabric, the Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle is simple to cope with, retailer, and provide anyplace. Aside from getting reasonable, newbies who are constrained by time or income to enroll in the Pilates category can try out out the work out regimen making use of this. Benefits is usually noticed in as quick being a full week, if measures and routines are carried out correctly.

The 2 foams on possibly facet of it supply steady, at ease, and slip-totally free grip for the end user.

Its portability also offers the user much more liberty to implement it as typically as possible, without having the personal restraints that an everyday Pilates workout school entails, or the routine limitations that usually minimize workout classes to just once per week. Possessing one particular in the home�”and probably one more a person to hold within the auto if you’re travelling or elsewhere�”can even probable raise the frequency of one’s work out. Hence, you’ll reap the rewards previously, at minimal price tag.

The Winsor Pilates Sculpting Circle is most encouraged for rookies in addition because the Pilates physical exercise mat, since you will discover no dials or straps to contend with, so you don’t have to shell out numerous hundred bucks to view if Pilates operates for yourself.

Should you’ve enjoyed the many enjoyable data you read here about Winsor Pilates Circle, you will adore all the things else you discover at Winsor Pilates Circle

The Elongated Body – Balanced Flexibility Part III

Reformer Pilates manly are excellent at helping to keep the neck & back protected whilst still offering amazingly transformational exercises. Last week, I promised you some surprising scientific evidence on stretching. Here are the findings from studies on stretching that were conducted at universities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Finding # 1. Active and dynamic stretching are both better at increasing flexibility than is passive stretching. You stretch passively when you use your hand, the floor or a piece of exercise equipment to create the stretch. You stretch actively when you enlist the muscles on the other side of those being stretched – termed the “agonist” muscles – to form your stretch as shown as the picture at the right. In this illustration the hamstring and glute muscles on the back of the leg are stretching the thigh and hip flexor muscles on the front of the leg. You stretch dynamically when your agonist muscles create little pulses of movement to deepen the stretch on the other (“antagonist”) side. In this example, small contractions of the hamstring and glutes drawing your leg back dynamically stretches your thigh and hip flexor muscles.

The studies concluded that passive stretching is good at relaxing your body but is not very good at increasing range of motion. The largest increases in flexibility came in studies during which subjects performed a combination of active and dynamic stretches and saved the passive stretches for the cool-down. Yoga, with its focus on surrender, is mostly composed of passive stretches. Pilates uses mostly active stretches and so is better at increasing range of motion than is yoga. The Bar Method fuses strength work together with active and dynamic stretching. Look closely at its strength exercises and you’ll notice that they double as active/dynamic stretches for the flip-side, or agonist, muscles.

At the ballet bar students pit strength against length for the muscles of their legs, as shown in the photo above.
Later on mats, Bar Method students form dynamic and active stretches for their backs as they hold the fronts of their torsos in a flexed position or perform tiny forward bends at the waist which strengthen their abs as seen to the left. Finally, the Bar Method inserts a passive stretch sequence as seen below at the end of every active one. The warm, exhausted muscles just worked surrender more wholly to the passive stretches than they would if they had not just been worked. In this way, the Bar Method’s passive stretches act more deeply than many yoga stretches performed with muscles that are fresh. Coming at the end of dynamic stretching sets, these passive stretches also give students a moment to gently reinforce any increased range of motion they’ve just gained.

Finding # 2. You don’t have to hold a stretch for very long to get the maximum benefit. One study in Montreal found that 15 to 30 second stretches work best to lengthen muscles. Holding stretches for longer – or repeating them too often – either did nothing at all or had the unpleasant effect of re-tightening those muscles. This finding suggests that yoga classes that give holding pose for longer than a minute could be tightening, not lengthening their students’ muscles. In another study based in Toledo, Ohio two groups stretched their hamstring muscles for different lengths of time, one for 30 seconds and the other for 10 seconds repeated three times. After six weeks, the range of motion gains were equal in both groups. The evidence in favor of shorter stretches is strong. If you’re aiming for a more flexible body, yoga’s long, unbroken holds have no advantage over numerous shorter ones, and can even be counterproductive.

Finding # 3. Strength and Stretch are part of one continuum, not separate features of fitness. Picture a yogi or a contortionist. Your mind will probably conjure up a slender, fragile figure. Now imagine a body-builder or football player. Odds are you’ll be seeing a tight, muscle-bound physique. In actuality these stereotypes represent extremes of body-type, not end results from physical regimes. For us average body types, the first step in stretching one of our muscles is to strength it. Our stronger muscle will in turn add stability to its underlying joint, making it less likely that the joint will fly out of control and get injured (joints are smart). Then, and only then, the joint allows our muscle to increase its range of motion.

When in my 30’s I started taking The Lotte Berk Method, the predecessor of the Bar Method. I was a regular yoga student but had been frustrated by the lack of gain in my flexibility. I even daydreamed of an operation that would add some length to my tight muscles. The new workout, which greatly strengthened my muscles, almost immediately began giving me more flexibility. Today I can do the splits and back-bends that were once fantasies.

The flip side of this equation is the strength you get from becoming flexible. Simply stated, stretching makes you stronger by giving muscles more ability to both contract and expand. So unless you’re a body-builder solely into fitness to look pumped, you have every reason to add range of motion to your hard-won strength. That range of motion will translate into greater strength during performance, whether you’re lunging for a long-shot on the tennis court or running in a marathon.

Finding #4: Stretching does indeed make muscles look long and lean. No, this is not a myth. Muscles that get stretched as well as strengthened look visibly smaller than solely “pumped” ones. These same muscles are just a strong as their heftier looking counterparts, but they’ll lie closer to the bone and appear smoother.

Taking all evidence into consideration makes it clear that any strength workout worth its salt must not just throw a few passive stretches in at the end but must instead fully integrate flexibility training into its routine.

With 23 exercise studios and Exercise DVDs, The Bar Method represents one of the fastest growing exercise trends in America today. To find out more about the studios, go to http://www.BarMethod.com To read about and purchase the DVDs go to

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Slowly, More Men Coming Around To Embrace Yoga’s Benefits

In order to get the yoga benefits all you need is a good Pilates instructor course. According to the most recent survey, the vast majority of participants in yoga classes were women (approximately 77 percent), despite the fact that some of the most popular and famous teachers today and many of the originators of the practice are and were men.

So where are the men in the studio?  That is a question that many yoga instructors and studios are trying to answer as they try to reach out to a market that, for all intents and purposes, remains relatively untapped.

There are many possible reasons why men stay away from the yoga studio, but a few reasons seem to stick out more than others.  Many experts and yoga enthusiasts point to the competitive nature in men and the belief that many men don’t find yoga challenging enough for the physical goals they wish to accomplish.  Plainly stated, many men don’t find yoga “masculine” enough for them (as if a pose like the Side Crane is a piece of cake).

According to a few instructors, quoted in a recent article, men enter the yoga studios and see a room full of women, perhaps hear calming music and notice there’s not one piece of heavy metal equipment in the room and conclude that this place is not for them.  And if there is a male instructor, his calm, sensitive demeanor is in sharp contract to the “feel the burn” approach of a personal trainer he may be used to.  One yoga instructor said that men come to the studio looking for a challenge immediately.

Experts point to a number of possible reasons why mainstream men consider yoga a “women’s thing”, starting with Indra Devi, a female yoga instructor who came to the U.S. in the 1940s and was promoted by cosmetic legend Elizabeth Arden.  Some time after, Richard Hitttleman became a yoga celebrity, but his books and television show only featured female models.  The PBS network presented “Lilias, Yoga and You” in the 1970s and featured instructor Lilias Folan in an afternoon broadcast that seemed perfectly tailored for the stay-at-home mom of that era.  Although more athletic forms of yoga developed later, such as Power Yoga, the deep involvement of woman in the practice solidified the idea of yoga as a woman’s exercise in the minds of many men.

Yoga experts also say the need for men to have concrete exercise results may also be a reason why they refrain from yoga.  With weight lifting or weight training, a man may see an increase in muscle mass – a bigger bicep or a bit of definition here or there.  But with yoga, many of the most important changes are internal, mental and emotional benefits that maybe harder to gauge for a person taught to measure success by wins and losses.

As one instructor stated, instead of focusing on quieting his mind or relaxing, men may build even more tension by focusing on performing a pose perfectly (in response to their competitive streak) and not be satisfied until they do, even if it’s a move recommended for an advanced student and they’re in their first class.  By putting their efforts into perfection, many men completely miss one of the real benefits of the practice.

Finally, several yoga experts and instructors point to men’s fear of failure as one of the reasons they shun yoga in such large numbers.  Since most men’s idea of exercise consists of lifting weights or calisthenics that require the body to move in such a rigid motion, they often lack the flexibility that yoga demands.  Even beginning male students, the experts say, give up after a few sessions because they fear “failure” at not being able to perform the moves (without realizing that their inflexibility may be the biggest reason they should participate in yoga).

Yoga instructors say it may help to inform many men that some of today’s top athletic stars are yoga fans who use the practice to help them perform.  Superstars such as NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, former NFL star Jon Kitna and pitcher Barry Zito, as well as entire teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Cubs, offer yoga to their athletes to counteract the rough treatment they receive on the field.

Men who attend yoga classes must let down their defenses and not think of yoga in terms of success and failure.  The instructors say that yoga is not concerned with perfection of pose or rating someone based on whether they can perform a backbend on their first day in class.  Yoga, they stress, is a gradual process where the student comes to acknowledge the mind-body connection.  When placed in the right perspective with realistic goals, each yoga session can be considered a “success”.

Yoga instructors suggest that men who are attending their first yoga session take time to introduce themselves to the teacher and discuss the class structure.  Men should also accept and admit (to the instructor and to themselves) that they harbor some anxiety about the yoga class.  By establishing lines of communication, the student and the instructor can begin to erase the fears they have about not being up to the task of yoga.

Another option yoga instructors may want to consider, the experts say, is occasionally conducting a men’s-only yoga session where men can be themselves.  Instructors who have held classes such as this admit that it creates a different atmosphere than usual and that the typical male joking is not uncommon.  But arranging such classes can be a big help in teaching men to relax in the studio and, in turn, relax with the idea of yoga.

Finally, men should be willing to let themselves go mentally in a yoga class.  Some of the most powerful men in business have credited yoga with letting them clear their heads of the day-to-day stresses and mental strain of the workday.  And not only does yoga let them get rid of old, troublesome thoughts, it allows new thoughts to come in.  indeed, many top executives have claimed that some of their most successful ideas have come while meditating during yoga.

It may take a while until more men embrace yoga the way women have.  But by adopting this attitude, men too can begin to understand the benefits of yoga, both mental and physical.

Lindaa Adams loves all things that have to do with health.

One of the top health blogs Lindaa has found is Kamloops Yoga Teachers, which is a distinctive combination of yoga and health. For more information, you may also visit Kamloops Yoga Fitness Boot Camp

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Yoga Mats – Your Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Yoga Mat

As the courses on offer are run at a busy Pilates instructor course centre the trainees are offered the chance to get hands on experience with clients as part of the training and particular attention is given to rehabilitation. Yoga mats that properly support your body are essential for your enjoyment and success with yoga asanas (postures).  Yoga mats prevent and decrease injuries that can be caused by slippery surfaces.  Yoga mats are used by anyone practicing yoga to help them create a barrier between themselves and the floor.   Yoga mats can be purchased for as little as $20 and many studios and yoga classes will let you store your mat with them if you are a regular. Some will even offer you a free mat to use during your sessions. Research has not confirmed the link between unclean  yoga mats and fungal, bacterial and viral infections, plantar warts and staph infections.

Yoga mats have 4 requirements:
1.) they need to be safe,
2.) durable,
3.) comfortable, and
4.) environmental friendly. 

Good Yoga mats will help you improve your balance and coordination and give you better stability and traction. If you are  looking for a natural, eco-friendly alternative to sticky  synthetic yoga mats which may be full of chemicals, then  consider an organic hemp, bamboo, or cotton variety of yoga mat.

Custom Yoga Mat

Mats come in a variety of custom colors and sizes, with the standard size of 24″ x 68″. There are also 100% hemp yoga and meditation mats made from certified organic European hemp: processed without chemicals for true purity and environmental sustainability.  You’ll love an organic hemp yoga or meditation mat if you’re looking for something natural, organic, and soft during your yoga session so that you forget about your worries of synthetic or dusty carpets (many yoga studios have carpeted or synthetic and dusty flooring).  Rolled up, the yoga mat makes a great pillow and also a lower back support.  We’ve found that mats are also good for the second (mat to lie on) and third (folded up for knee support) of the Five Tibetan Rejuvenation Rites since bare floors can be very hard on your knees.

Yoga Mat Products

There are half a dozen type of yoga-mat wipes available, and new products like hand and foot mitts will protect yoga mat borrowers.  Though, you should keep in mind that it has not been proven that you can ‘catch’ a virus, fungus or other bacteria from another person’s yoga mat, you will still probably want to purchase your own, as it will become personal to you, and you will be able to maintain it and know that it is your very own.

Meditation Mats

A hand-woven yoga mat is best if you want to do gentle yoga, meditation or relaxation. A comfortable bamboo meditation bench with rounded leg bottoms is also suitable for long meditations.  For complete yoga that includes exercises, meditation, breathing (pranayama) and relaxation, sticky mats should not be used. For a sitting meditation, you may want to fold the mat two or three times so that you have a thicker cushion under you while you sit.   Rolled up, the hemp yoga and meditation mats make a great pillow and lower back support too.

Cotton Yoga Mats

Yoga mats are made of cotton, jute, rubber, rug and synthetic materials.  A 100% cotton yoga mat rug for your practice may be best if you have allergic reactions to other materials, or just wish a softer, more cushier mat.  An all natural zabuton mat is handmade from chemical- free green cotton. A long lasting filler for pillows is organic buckwheat hulls as it conforms to your body’s shape and is usually wrapped in a organic cotton twill shell with a hidden zipper carry handle.

Natural Yoga Mats

The original eco yoga mat is  made with all-natural rubber and jute fiber and is excellent for any consistent practice of yoga. Its rubber underside grips  the floor and the jute fabric/rubber mix on top offers superb traction and a highly durable, tactile and pleasantly natural surface to practice on.

Eco Yoga Mats

Selecting an eco yoga mat is a perfect choice as you pose your way to enlightenment and inner peace in your yoga practice.  Even a carpet can potentially become slippery and cause  an injury, especially in a more complicated pose.  After extensive research, I believe that the ecoYoga mat is currently the greenest  option available for those who wish to practice on a sticky mat.  Better still, you may want to show a little eco enlightenment at your next yoga class with a PVC-free mat.  In the past, we’ve given you a few  options regarding eco-sensitive yoga mats: the Harmony Rubber Yoga Mat, and Eco Mats by Eco Yoga.

Green Yoga Mats

Greenpeace wants all PVC production to cease, because it releases dioxins into  the environment.   An all natural zabuton mat is handmade from chemical-free green cotton.

Organic Yoga Mats

Organic hemp yoga, meditation mats are eco-friendly, all-natural and sustainably made. What better way to be there than starting  with synthetic-free, plastic-free, chemical-free,  and toxin-free organic hemp mat on which  to perform your asana’s. When purchasing new yoga clothes or yoga  products, you should consider shopping at a organic clothing store, fair  trade business,recycle shop, etc.

Colors

Most retailers offer a wide variety of colors and designs.  You should be able to find any color that you like in a yoga mat, I’ve seen them in everything from bright red to purple to deep aqua to the natural colors of organic cotton and bamboo.

Yoga Mat Essentials

Yoga mats can be purchased for as little as $20, and many studios let you store your mat with them.  Yoga mats are handy, safe and comfortable for yoga practice.  The standard size of 24″ x 68.  Yoga mats provide ideal base  for  practicing yoga safely and comfortably.  There are some yoga mats that are not made of PVC, which is considered to be the most toxic of all plastics, and is found in more than 90% of today’s sticky mats. Alternative materials such as hemp, cotton, bamboo and other materials can be used instead of PVC when you are looking for a more organic or chemical-free experience, or simply to prevent allergic reactions.

Brett Simpson has practiced yoga for many years. For more useful articles, videos and a free eBook: Easing Your Stress With Yoga, visit his ~Dream Yoga~ website.

~Dream Yoga~
Your Yoga Resource
http://www.dreampublishers.com/healing/yoga/

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How to Increase Your Core Flexibility: Pilates for Beginners at Home

Dynamic Pilates Manly studios specialises in athletic, high intensity, low impact Pilates classes. Looking to get a strong, lean body without spending countless hours doing exercises in the gym? A strong, toned body doesn’t always have to come from lifting weights. You can just as easily get a greast full body strength workout at home with just your yoga mat and a Pilates routine. Pilates not only tightens and tones your muscles, it also strengthens your body and increases your core flexibility. It involves workouts comprised of precise moves and specific breathing techniques. So why choose Pilates? Read on to learn more about why you should choose to add this Pilates workout for beginners to your regular fitness routine. Sara is wearing the Ultimate Sports Bra for support during her workout! 

So What is Pilates Exactly?

Pilates is a form of exercise that uses controlled movements designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture. The movements focus primarily on your core to condition your body and build stronger, more sculpted muscles without any excess bulk. The result is a sleek, toned body. Pilates can also help to improve your posture from the ab and back strength you’ll gain through the controlled movements.

There are two different forms of Pilates – one is mat based while the other uses large pieces of equipment generally found only in Pilates studios. The mat based form of Pilates is the most popular (and the one we will be focusing on for this post) and can easily be done at home. All you need is an exercise mat and a routine to follow as shown below by our Shefit Founder Sara Marie Moylan.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

1. Pilates Is for Everyone!

Pilates can be done by anyone – man, woman, young or old. No matter your age or physical ability, you can do Pilates. There are thousands of possible exercises and modifications, so it can be adapted to fit an individual’s needs – from the absolute beginner to the seasoned athlete.

2. Pilates Works Your Core

One of the key components of Pilates is the emphasis oncore strength. The core is the “powerhouse” of the body – Pilates strengthens and conditions the core while simultaneously working your arms and legs. The exercises focus on movements and positions that not only activate your core but also rely on your extremities (arms and legs) for control.

3. Pilates Is Good for Your Posture

One of the main components of Pilates is the connection between mind and body and the overall awareness of how your body moves. As a result, you become more aware of the placement of your spine and pelvis, especially during your Pilates routine.

4. Pilates Increases Energy

Like yoga, Pilates teaches you how to focus on the correct way to breathe. You’ll breathe more deeply, providing your body with more oxygen and thus increasing your energy levels. Once you finish your Pilates routine, you’ll find yourself feeling more energized, de-stressed, peaceful and relaxed.

5. Pilates Improves the Mind/Body Connection

Pilates workouts are designed to improve your balance and coordination by teaching a stronger connection between the mind and the body. Pilates movements are done with control and focus to help you become more aware of your alignment.

6. Pilates Improves Balance and Co-ordination

Because of its strong focus on the core, Pilates helps to improve your overall balance by stabilizing your core. The movements of Pilates work the small, deep muscles in your.

Why Pilates Is The Number One Choice

Pilates instructor course is one of the most popular methods of exercise in the world, and for good reason. There are various types of Pilates workouts that are available to you, thus it is important to understand about each different type, so that you can study the components of each. Either you want to take up Pilates as a hobby or a career choice, the following article helps you decide on which exercise is truly suitable for you.

1) Powerhouse Pilates

Powerhouse Pilates is a form of exercise that provides that of a fitness approach to that of the Pilates education overall. It was founded by Marci Clark and Christine Romani-Ruby in order to make Pilates education easily available for fitness professionals.

2) Peak Pilates

Peak Pilates is one of many forms of Pilates which uses a truly and entirely different approach that teaches you how to teach and not just what to teach. Peak Pilates certification programs concentrate on that of professional development and a deep understanding of the integrated, systematic approach to Pilates overall.

This knowledge is important because it is what provides the solid foundation and the confidence; two things that are required in order to become a successful Pilates instructor.

Moreover, the Peak Pilates certification programs offer that of a modular educational pathway which allows you to learn and teach at your own pace while simultaneously matching your own personal education level to the level of Peak Pilates that you wish to teach. It is compulsory for every single Pilates student, regardless of their specific fitness level or movement experience, begins by learning the introductory system.

3) Stott Pilates

Stott Pilates is one which concentrates on that of breath, core conditioning, and body awareness. Moreover, Stott Pilates exercise provides a safe and highly effective way to stretch, which is a very important part of the Pilates routines altogether. Stott Pilates is also great as it strengthens and streamlines your body without adding unwanted bulk and without putting any more pressure on your joints.

Stott Pilates is performed on a mat and uses specialized equipment. It is considered as being one of the few fitness regimes that can last you for a lifetime. In addition, it is also thought of as being the perfect compliment to that of cardiovascular exercise, sport and rehab.

4) Power Pilates

Power Pilates are exercises on almost the same lines as yoga, however with a big difference – the fitness in yoga comes from the mind first, hence the deep meditation, etc. The Power Pilates imparts a series exercises which are focused to build muscles and overall the fitness of body and mind.

There are many programs which offer a number of Power Pilates at different levels of interest. The Power Pilates is a series of exercises that a person has to take on for about 12-36 hours per week. The Power Pilates moves will almost always require backup by some form of equipment. These equipments are used for different muscle stretching exercises.

The Power Pilates exercises are a great way to stay fit. Yoga is the only other method for accomplishing the same level of fitness of the mind and body. Power Pilates is not too costly to learn, or too labor intensive as yoga yet it is highly effective. While with yoga you will need to be extremely supple, with the Power Pilates you require only to have the will to learn and do it.

5) Yoga Pilates

There are several different yoga Pilates workouts that involve exercises that have their foundation in yoga along with Pilates as they focus on flexibility and core strength. An exerciser can do these yoga Pilates exercises at a restful pace by breathing slowly and deeply throughout the workout. Yoga Pilates exercises can also be adjusted to fit different fitness levels and flexibility. However one should also consult the doctor before starting any of these exercise programs.

There are definite yoga Pilates guidelines that should help exercisers which include yoga postures that should not be performed on a full stomach. One should wear comfortable clothing to enable freedom of movement and not exercising when feeling weak or shaky.

One should build up strength steadily while staying within personal limitations. One should extend their boundaries of limitations gently while staying focused throughout the workout on one’s breathing that is inhaling and exhaling fully and completely, through the nose.

Because yoga Pilates classes is mushrooming everywhere, there may be a limited number of qualified instructors available. Having a qualified instructor is important as it guarantees that the participant takes the right yoga Pilates exercises. In the case of Pilates, it is dangerous to do moves that are beyond one’s capabilities.

6) Pilates and Pregnancy

Pilates is thought of to be one of the best ways a pregnant woman can use to prepare herself for the birth of her baby. Furthermore, by practicing Pilates can help her along the stages of her actual pregnancy. The dynamic moves of Pilates actually challenge the woman by building her muscle endurance, and at the same time helping her to gain better balance.

Pilates and pregnancy is a great match in this regards because with Pilates it is a mind and body incorporating method of exercise that strengthens the most important muscles – the ones that the woman will be using during the labor and delivery part of her pregnancy: the abdominals, pelvic muscles, and the back.

One of the best and most important parts about Pilates and pregnancy is that it is the most perfect groundwork for a woman’s labor and delivery process. Pilates is also great during pregnancy because it helps the woman to limber her muscles thus making them supple, which will be a very helpful factor when the time comes to deliver the baby.

However, as with any other form of physical activity, the pregnant woman should consult her physician before starting Pilates, just to ensure that it will not do harm to herself or to the baby.

Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit winsor pilates workout [http://www.winsorpilatesworkout.net] to learn more about power pilates [http://www.winsorpilatesworkout.net/power_pilates.php] and other pilates workout

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