We know that changing up a weekly routine can keep the body guessing, in a good way. When the body is constantly moving and working out in different ways, it stays healthier, stronger, and reduces the chances of it getting complacent. We want our body to be constantly challenged in new ways. One of our favourite combinations in our week is a mix of reformer pilates and yoga. Why?
Reformer pilates builds stability and control
Reformer pilates uses not only your body but also a very well designed reformer. With the reformer you can find the prefect position to target one (or a group) of muscles. This helps us to activate the right muscle and stop dominant muscle groups taking over and doing the work. These types of movements help to build stability in muscles and joints, often in areas that are prone to injury like shoulders and knees. This control and activation will help your yoga practice, as muscles that might otherwise have switched off are more active now. This means they will be more likely do their part in whole body movements, often seen on the yoga mat.
Yoga allows for flexibility and mobility
On the yoga mat, we take our bodies in all directions. We also work into a lot of deep stretches. Both of these things help to increase range of movement and flexibility in both the muscles and the connective tissue. This can help us to open problem areas that might have closed off due to other training, posture or lifestyle factors. This flexibility and mobility will then help you to move deeper into your pilates poses down the track.
Reformer pilates will help you to build strength and tone
In reformer pilates we have the added benefit of weights and resistance. This enables us to develop strength a little faster. As we target particular muscle groups, we are able to tone and strengthen these guys a little easier than we might be able to in whole body movements. This strength will then translate into your yoga practice and body weight exercises will start to feel easier as the body gets stronger.
Yoga allows you to focus on your mind not just your body
Yoga is a holistic practice. We learn about breathing deeply, about staying present, about acceptance, compassion, and a whole range of other things. All of this comes with you when you leave your yoga mat. While it can help you in all areas of your life, it will certainly keep you more focused and aware of what’s going on when you land on a reformer bed. It may also help you focus more on what’s happening in your own body.
The focus you create and practice in yoga will help you at pilates
When we spend time on one foot, trying to stay upright, we have to cultivate inner stillness, focus, and control. When you’re standing on a moving platform, trying to lunge and figure out what your arms are meant to be doing, you’re going to thank yourself for spending time in tree pose. The balance and focus you create on your yoga mat will support your time on the reformer.