Yoga vs. Pilates; when to choose which to strengthen your body according to the NY Times.

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Yoga vs. Pilates; when to choose which to strengthen your body according to the NY Times. A common question patients ask is Yoga or Pilates, which method of strengthening and flexibility would work best. The answer that is commonly given is that Pilates is better for core stability, Yoga is more for flexibility and perhaps upper body because of the moves and positions that people assume while performing many of the positions either in classes or at home. Yoga typically is done in larger classes on mats, Pilates at the beginner level is done on mats but when a basic level of strength is developed, then people participate in small classes or individually with the help of an instructor with a device caller the reformer. ? The quality of the class is teacher dependent. Also be aware of any discipline that tries to do too much to soon because the person ends up quite sore, and possibly in pain, something that can usually be avoided. Also be aware that many teachers will offer to modify a maneuver if you have difficulty performing the maneuver. The problem is that there usually is a physical reason you are having difficulty and modifying the maneuver will not make you perform it better, but it will enhance a problem you are not aware of that made the maneuver you attempted worse. If this happens, you may wish to see your local chiropractor, discuss the problem move and see if he/she can help you resolve the reason behind the difficulty. It is also beneficial if your chiropractor speaks with the Pilates or Yoga instructor concerning the problem move and work as a team to enable you to succeed in doing the maneuver in question the way it was intended. This approach has saved many people from having chronic problems developed by problems that may not have been symptomatic, but will create issues later in life for you. Check out the article in the NY Times here

Q. Is Pilates better than yoga for strengthening exercises?

Asked by Rodin's Muse A. The answer depends to a large degree on what it is you're trying to strengthen. In general, Pilates exercises, originally developed by the fitness trainer Joseph Pilates, target the core muscles around the spine. If your aim is to strengthen your midsection, then Pilates is a fine choice. In a small but well-designed study last year, nine sedentary women who completed 36 weeks of supervised Pilates training bulked up their abdominal muscles by as much as 20 percent, while also lessening any existing muscular imbalances there. "Pilates can be recommended as an effective method to reinforce the muscles of the abdominal wall and to compensate pre-existing asymmetric developments," the authors said. But whether such training fortifies the rest of the body is questionable. A review last year of Pilates-related science found little credible evidence that the exercises added muscle or incinerated body fat apart from in the midsection. Yoga, however, especially hatha yoga, with its flowing poses, may strengthen larger sections of the body. read more