So some of you know that I attend yoga and pilates classes at my gym from time to time. I’ve always been more of a pilates person (I like the movements and the focus on my stomach and bum — though I know a yogi out there is going to tell me that yoga does this, too…), but my gym only offers pilates one night a week, and not until 8:30 at night — also known as the time I usually head HOME from the gym.
Result? I take about three yoga classes a week and the occasional pilates class. I’m not mad; yoga has actually grown on me quite a bit. The only thing I really can’t get comfortable with? The mindset.
People who do pilates are very different from people who practice yoga. For one thing, they practice yoga. It’s an experience. The poses have fancy names. It’s a spiritual connection with your body and energies and blah, blah, blah.
Needless to say, I feel differently.
I believe in learning to listen to your body. I recently read an article in a fitness magazine about how people who practice (ugh) yoga are less likely to overeat because they’re more atune to their body’s needs. I don’t have any science on me to back this up, but I do know that I used to be able to overeat fairly easily, and now I can’t. Does yoga deserve the credit? Maybe.
The thing I can’t get behind? The spiritual aspect. Now, of course this has to do with my own beliefs, but I also think it’s a little silly. Yes, yoga is good for stretching, muscle toning, and even in getting you to clear your mind and pay attention, but that’s it for me. Not knocking anyone else, just explaining.
People who do pilates? In my experience (and at my gym), they don’t take themselves nearly as seriously. Yes, they want to do the moves well and kick their butts into gear, but it’s more about the fitness than the experience. And that’s always been easier for me to get behind.
What I’m saying is, I’ll do your sun salutations (Surya-namaskar) and your downward dogs (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and your cobras (Bhujangasana), but I refuse to say the “ohms” on principle. A silly principle? Maybe.
But I come from the side that doesn’t take themselves so seriously, remember?