We hope you like this week's classes - Try and do each of these classes at least once, and remember you can also visit the classes from last week
Ask the Pilates and Yoga experts
Can Pilates and Yoga help my bad posture?
Pilates and Yoga are both great ways to help improve your posture! Bad posture is a result of not using the body enough and creating muscular imbalances by using it “incorrectly”. Yoga and Pilates are both designed to bring muscular and postural balance- working all body parts in all directions, stretching tight areas and strengthening weak muscles.
The concept of “Power House” in Pilates and “Yoga Locks” in Yoga (which may take some time to master) will help you develop a strong sense of “internal lift”, which relates to your core muscles and helps keep you upright. Additionally, the awareness developed in the classes will be carried over to your day-to-day activities, reminding you to carry yourself more upright and with less build-up of tension and bad habits.
What are the mental benefits of Yoga?
Yoga's combined focus on mindfulness, breathing and physical movements brings health benefits with regular practice. The physical health benefits may be easier to observe and measure but the mental ones are just as important.
Mental Calmness: Yoga asana practice is intensely physical. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness to the mind. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching the breath, learning to observe your “edge” and disengaging from your thoughts. The mental skills acquired in Yoga classes can prove to be very valuable in intense situations of daily life.
Stress Reduction: Physical activity is good for relieving stress, and this is very true of yoga. Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are on the mat. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping to put your problems into perspective. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment can also help relieve stress, as you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future. You will leave a yoga class feeling less stressed than when you started.
Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often encouraged to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment and you are always encouraged to listen to your body and work to its limits on the day. Becoming stronger, more flexible and more aware of your own body will over time increase your level of comfort in your body, giving you a sense of confidence and achievement.