YOGA & PILATES: A Q&A with Christine Crook...

YOGA & PILATES: A Q&A with Christine Crooks

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

I started practicing Pilates around age 19 during college. Taking a break from dance, I needed an athletic outlet and a Pilates class at the gym was offered. With yoga, I noticed in my dancing that I wasn’t naturally flexible or strong with body weight resistance. It was interesting to gravitate towards both modalities but not see how they interacted with one another on my body until much later 🙂 After going through Pilates teacher training I recognized how Pilates actually informed my yoga practice on a deeper, more mindful level.

Why do you choose to do both modalities?

Having both Pilates and yoga as movement and body-mind practices I feel as though there is a great balance of strength building, dynamic flexibility and alignment awareness built in. The combination in my body is truly to feel the push and pull with gravity through movement and find the most “suspension” in my joints.

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

The inherent mindfulness and bodily awareness of both practices is somewhat obvious to those of us who practice both. Also, the incorporation and importance of breath into both modalities is greatly valued. What I love about Pilates (and why I chose to teach this modality) is the incredible variety of movement! The more dynamic mobility and strength we have in our tissues and joints, the better off we are in the coming days. With endless movement opportunities on or off the Pilates equipment, we can not only continuously challenge the body but also our neurological health. That being said, having the structure of a yoga class, dependent on the type of class (Yin, Vinyasa, etc.) I can see a direct improvement, or decline, in a certain pose. The very defined structure of some yoga classes can reveal that day-to-day.

What are the benefits of practicing both Yoga & Pilates?

In my experience, Pilates informs the body awareness that can deepen the yoga experience. The connection to the core and alignment awareness in Pilates supports the depth of range of motion in many yoga poses. This combination gives the joints and tissues a dynamic mobility focus with a beautiful blend of breath and mindfulness.

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

My favorite yoga pose is Wheel, and my favorite Pilates exercise is Swimming! A dynamite combination is Roll Back to Roll Over to Wheel! Woohoo!

Christine started her movement education path in college achieving a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from CSU Sacramento (2011), as well as a Minor in Dance. Her combined interest of those brought her to Pilates, receiving her comprehensive training with BASI Pilates (2013). Building on knowledge from experience in physical therapy clinics, Pilates studios, and educational conferences, Christine then became a Pilates Master Instructor for Balanced Body Education (2019). In maintaining a continuous goal of expanding movement knowledge, she utilizes her mechanical and kinesiological understanding along with innovations of contemporary, Pilates-informed movement. To put it simply, she strives to help every body find their most balanced quality of movement, and feel good doing it!



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