Pilates and Yoga: A Q & A with Helen Vanderbur...

Pilates and Yoga: A Q & A with Helen Vanderburg

Pilates and yoga have a great symmetry. Fitness expert Helen Vanderburg explains why, and how both modalities have a ton to offer!

When & why did you start practicing (or teaching) Pilates (or Yoga)? How/why did you see Yoga “fitting” into your Pilates journey?

I took my first yoga teacher training almost 20 years ago. At the same time, I ventured into Pilates. My first yoga training was in Ashtanga Yoga. Later, I took a second yoga teacher training in Iyengar. Then Yin Yoga. As much as I am teacher of yoga, I am a student! I did my first Pilates course about the same time. I started practicing yoga and Pilates as a more mindful approach to fitness, health and well-being to compliment the higher intensity work I was doing in fitness and athletic training.

Why do you choose to do both modalities?

I chose both modalities as I feel they complement each other. They are uniquely different. Together they provide a balance of benefits.

What are some of the key similarities and differences between Yoga & Pilates? If you teach both, how is teaching both modalities similar/different?

They both include flexibility, strength, and stability exercises. They both involve a great deal of discipline and movement mastery. They are both mindful practices. Yet they are quite different.

I think of the Pilates method is a physical practice through a series of exercises that focus on increasing a balance of strength, stability, core power and flexibility to improve movement quality through use of specific exercises.

This system of training incorporates a high degree of mental focus on the execution and control of integrated sequences of movements.

Yoga, on the other hand, is a much older practice and in its complete form, it is a way of life. Yoga is a philosophical and spiritual system. The physical practice of yoga that we are most familiar with in the western world, is only one small part of this broader system. The word “Yoga” means the union of the mind, body, and soul towards the road of self-realization.

In yoga history, the Indian sage Pantanjali systemized the various aspects of yoga into 8 limbs all equally important and interconnected: consisting of moral codes, self-purification and study, yoga postures, breath control, sense control, concentration, meditation, and contemplation. Yoga is practices as a pathway and exploration of self.

What are the benefits of practicing both Yoga & Pilates?

By practicing both I feel you can achieve a balanced approach to mindful practices. Yoga postures include many standing poses and transitional poses from standing to the floor which are often missing in Pilates. Pilates involved several highly effective core strengthen and stabilizing poses that can benefit a yoga practice.

What is your favorite Yoga pose? Pilates move? Hybrid?

I love to fuse yoga and Pilates! That is why I am so passionate about Fusion Workouts where you can flow seamlessly from one to the other in movement sequences.

Motivator, Author, Yoga, Fitness, Cycling Coach, Canadian instructor of the year. Owner of Fusion Workouts, theACADEMY, Heavens Fitness.



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