What Is Pilates?
Pilates is not simply a fitness method, but a life style. Joe Pilates, the developer of pilates, intended his method of exercise to be total body well being. His studies and practices included the connection of the mind and spirit to that of the physical movement of the body. With this connection pilates can have a tremendous impact on both the physical and mental well being of the body. It can be used to rehab the body from injuries, reduce physical and metal stress, as well as transform physique. The key to receiving the most benefit from pilates lies in several main principles.

Quality. This refers to both the quality of instruction as well as the quality of the movement being done. It is important to seek out a well educated and knowledgable instructor or studio. Pilates movements can be quite complicated, and not all movements are suitable for everyone. Certain back or neck conditions, for instance, should not be moved in certain directions to maintain a safe exercise program. It is important to inform the instructors of injuries or conditions to reduce the risk of further injury. Having injuries or pathologies does not make pilates unsafe, however. When done correctly with quality instruction pilates is a low impact, safe form of exercise.

Concentration. The benefits of pilates cannot be fully achieved if the effort is not put in to achieving them. If pilates is done mindlessly and with sloppy technique it reduces the effectiveness of the method, as well as increasing the risk of injury. Everyone has some form of muscular or structural imbalance from habitual patterns in daily life. Pilates can help to balance and correct these issues, but only if it is concentrated on. Mindlessly going through the movements will only continue to work over developed muscles and continue to weaken underdeveloped muscles. Having a sense of control and concentration with every movement will help to bring the body back into balance. Active mindfulness also stimulates brain function which has been shown to help increase mental capacity as we age.

Breathe. Joe considered breath to be life, and incorporated breathing patterns into all his exercises. Fully using the breathing patterns can increase lung capacity, bring fresh blood flow to the body, and invigorate the spirit. Using breath contributes to the feeling of meditative bliss and relaxation after exercise. This is what helps to reduce stress and make us feel good.

At Align Pilates Center we are committed to helping clients achieve the pilates life style. We focus on quality over quantity by keeping our classes small and offering personal attention.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga has been one of the fastest growing fitness trends in America. Here at Align Pilates and Yoga it is no mystery why yoga is booming. We strongly agree it is an excellent choice of movement. If you have not tried a yoga class we highly recommend it. To get the most benefit from yoga, you should choose a style that matches your fitness level and health goals. Knowing the common types of yoga will help you pick the class that serves you best.

  • Hatha yoga is the foundation of most yoga styles. Hatha is a very generic term for any type of yoga that teaches the physical postures. Here, you’ll learn the basic postures, breath work, relaxation techniques, and meditation, making it a great choice for beginners.

  • Vinyasa yoga is known for its smooth sequencing and linking breath to movement. Depending on the instructor, classes can be athletically driving to a more spiritual experience with chanting and meditation. So if one class doesn’t suit you, try a different instructor. A Vinyasa class can range from calm to rigorous. As a beginning yogi look for classes that are titled “Gentle Flow”.

  • Bikram yoga is best known for hot rooms. This style of vinyasa yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury and is comprised of 26 postures performed in strict sequential order. The heated rooms can be intense so working your way up in temperature is advised.  

  • Ashtanga or Power Yoga was popularized in the 70’s by Pattabhi Jois and is a physical style of yoga. It follows a specific sequence of postures in the exact order each time. If you enjoy a more structured class that focuses on mastery of poses and progressing to advanced levels, this could be a great style of yoga for you.

  • Iyengar is an alignment-based style of yoga. Instructors use blocks, straps, and blankets, to achieve correct alignment in each pose. A great style of yoga for individuals who appreciate detail and need a class that can accommodate any limitations.

  • Restorative yoga is soothing and relaxing style that rejuvenates you more than a nap. A slow paced class with gentle postures is ideal for those who want to release stress.

What Is Align Aerial Yoga?
It is incorporating silk hammocks into a traditional yoga class, to raise your yoga practice to whole new level.  Aerial yoga creates a unique twist to any classic yoga position and allocates one to achieve poses in a different way. Through the support of the hammock the body is able to decompress joints, build strength, flexibility, and balance in fun environment. Aerial yoga is very versatile and any style of yoga can be performed in the hammocks, from floating mediations to gentle stretching and intense strength conditioning. This style of yoga is suitable for beginners to advance students with array of classes. Come fly at Align today!

Click to read the Health benefits of Align Aerial