People often ask what the difference is between Pilates and yoga. The answer in a nutshell, is that Pilates offers dynamic workout, incorporating resistance and flexibility, and yoga emphasizes flexibility due to holding the poses. Obviously there is a lot more to both forms of exercise than that. However, I personally am very tight and have always questioned if Pilates really improved my flexibility. I got my answer this week after returning to my studio after taking two weeks vacation.
Until I started practicing Pilates in 2007, I had always suffered from back pain during a long flight. My flight to London was great in that I wasn’t sore during or after the flight. The first week I was traveling I took two mat classes. I also walked at least 15,000 steps most days as I was sight seeing and in a city where there is public transport. I noticed my calves were very tight and I could feel slight pain in my shins. It wasn’t until I returned home and started exercising after 10 days without Pilates that I realized how tight I was in the hips and lower back.
My conclusion is that although my flexibility may not ever be the same as others due to my structure; I can definitely say that my mobility is greatly improved from Pilates. This is what keeps me pain free, along with the core strength I have gained.