The Benefits of Pilates and Yoga Cross Training

pilates and yogaSuppose you came across a flyer for an exercise class which said, "Weeklong Challenge, Pilates and Yoga - 3 Pilates classes, 3 yoga classes, one rest day, sign up here . . . Tell us how you feel?!" Would you sign up? Maybe you consider yourself a Pilate’s fanatic. You love the cardiovascular benefits of the aerobic exercise, and the way you feel after each class. Or perhaps, you like to think of yourself as a “yogi”. Does yoga help you with circulation? Flexibility? Muscle pain? There are many benefits to both Pilates and yoga exercises. Chances are, if you like one, a combination of the two can really help you improve your overall fitness. Cross training is a great way to get an all-around body workout. People who cross train between both Pilates and yoga may experience greater strength, flexibility, and better overall wellness. The following are just a few benefits of combining the two types of exercise. Benefits of Yoga

  • Deeper Sleep

While yoga may appear to be a simple, carefree exercise form to some, the truth is, yoga takes a lot of focus, concentration, and discipline. A good yoga workout can be quite tiring and may help you to release extra stress and energy, leading to a better night’s sleep.

  • Help with Back Pain

For those who suffer from back pain, yoga is a great way to strengthen both the back muscles and the core muscles. By working these two major muscle groups, you become stronger in your ability to properly hold your torso, relieving the stress that is usually placed on your back from everyday activities like walking, standing, and bending over.

  • Heightened Flexibility

Yoga is known for its ability to help with flexibility. As you persevere through the beginning stages of yoga, you will likely become more capable of achieving harder flexibility stances. Increased flexibility may also lessen your chance for injury in other physical activities.

Benefits of Pilates

  • Core Strength

Most Pilates workouts focus on building the muscles at the core of the body. These core muscles are the muscles that are used to support the mainframe of the body. By strengthening your core you may feel reduced aches and pains, and find that overall, you feel stronger. The toning elements of Pilates also help to get the whole body tightened, as you focus on blasting fat and replacing it with muscle in major areas of the body.

  • Gradually progress to higher Complexity

Pilates is not a physical activity that requires previous preparation. There are Pilates moves for beginners and advanced Pilates students. Because the basic moves involved in this cardiovascular activity can be modified to meet many fitness levels, it is a great activity to help you gradually push yourself to eventually achieve more complexity as you become more physically fit.

  • Flow of Oxygen

Many people feel that after completing a good Pilates workout, they have a better flow of oxygen through their whole body. Because the muscles are stretched using dynamic stretching throughout the whole workout, they are opened-up, warm, and more able to receive a better blood flow. This creates an energy and fluidness of the muscles and the body.

The Dual Benefits

If you read through the list of benefits in each of the exercises you may have noticed that there is some cross-over between the two types of workouts. By combining Pilates and yoga classes, and taking a day to rest, you may be able to complete a weeklong Pilates and yoga challenge and feel the combined benefits of both types of exercise.