Pilates on the Yoga Mat
by Amanda Tolchard
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one at Red Hot Yoga who brings the principles of Pilates onto their yoga mat! There are several Yogis at the studio that are starting to see the many benefits of the 85 year old exercise system (developed by Joseph Pilates) as a fantastic way to compliment any yoga practice.
For some years now I have enjoyed all the benefits of a regular yoga practice while teaching Pilates to my private clients and in my regular classes. I have incorporated some of the essence and poses of yoga into these classes and yet, it has only been over the last year or so I have started applying these Pilates principles to my yoga practice. I learnt that in many yoga poses I overcompensated in my legs and/or shoulders (from years of running, spinning and poor posture) because my inner core was weaker. Pilates not only helped me strengthen my core, it taught me how to consciously tap into and use the power there to create greater stability and better alignment – although for many asanas this is still a work in progress!
Many of the Pilates techniques have come from Joseph Pilates’ study of Eastern Philosophy, which included yoga. He wrote of how age is not something that is defined by years, but rather by the suppleness of the spine: “If your spine is stiff at 30, you are old,” Joseph Pilates says, “If you are completely flexible at 60, you are young.”
I would encourage any regular yogi to learn these Pilates principles to help take their yoga practice to the next level! At the studio we now have Beginner Mat classes, Warm Pilates in the Orange Studio and coming soon after Easter RED HOT Pilates in the Red Studio. And try Pilates on the yoga mat – it has been an absolute pleasure to teach these techniques to Yogis and see their regular yoga practice and confidence improve!