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Practise Pilates for a Better Body

  By Aloka Mehta Gambhir  posted Apr 27th 2012 at 6:30AM IN | Avg Rating
Weight Loss
Practise Pilates for a Better Body

Pilates is a new fitness craze around the world and is catching up fast right here - in India! So the faster you acclimatize yourself with this new fitness fad, the easier it will be to decide if you want to do it or not. So is pilates here to stay? Lets find out. 

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a body conditioning routine that seeks to build flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination without adding muscle bulk. In addition, pilates increases circulation and helps to sculpt the body and strengthen the body's "core" or "powerhouse" (torso). People who do pilates regularly feel they have better posture, are less prone to injury, and experience better overall health.

Pilates is essentially a physical fitness system developed in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates from Germany and it was originally used to rehabilitate bedridden or immobile patients during World War I.

How is Pilates different from yoga?

Both Yoga and Pilates have similarities and many differences. While both are mind – body exercises (exercises that require the right balance of mindfulness, correct postures and concentrated breathing to enjoy all the benefits they have to offer), Yoga goes a step further and is a teaching of mind, body, and spirit, adding the spiritual angle.

While Pilates has its origins in Yoga asanas, Yoga is not merely a physical exercise but is designed to facilitate serious contemplation. In other words, it tries to provide an integrated approach towards objective and transcendental knowledge. Stronger muscles, stress relief and improved circulation are essentially by-products of practicing Yoga. Pilates on the other hand, primarily tries to strengthen the core stability muscles of our body to improve the way we function in our daily lives.

Pilates isn't a life philosophy, it is simply a series of exercises designed to improve the strength of our core muscles around the abdominals, hips and lower back.

Benefits of Pilates

  • Provides a greater awareness of posture.
  • Tones and builds long, lean muscles.
  • Strengthens deep abdominal muscles.
  • Helps with motivation by engaging our mind and enhancing body awareness.
  • Reduces stress, relieves tension and boosts energy.
  • Promotes recovery from strain or injury.
  • Offers relief from back pain and joint stress.
  • Compliments sports training and develops functional fitness for daily life.

Should you try it out?

Yes, if you want to try something new that compliments your current routine. If you already do Yoga, you could try Pilates for a variation and it’s quite possible that you can do two completely different classes without them overlapping. If you don’t do Yoga currently then Pilates is most certainly a valuable addition to your fitness routine, and can help you achieve a long, strong and lean frame.

Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images 

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