19. February 2021
Yoga and reformer pilates - two underrated types of movement
”We don't train to keep ourselves young, we train to get to be old”
Yoga as movement and training
There are many ways to strengthen and challenge your body. This is great as we all are different and through this have the possibility to find exactly what suites us. Many don't think of yoga as a way to strengthen and challenge your body, it is instead met with a preconceived idea of only practising breathing right and lying in child's pose.
But the sport is much more than that! It takes strength and endurance to move and be able to hold the various positions for the required amount of time. Yoga isn't the only sport that is met with a bias of not being challenging enough - we see the same about reformer Pilates. These two are not only physically challenging but also challenging for our mindset.
It was great having Mette and Anna through a yoga class and to introduce them to reformer Pilates. In that way they could get to feel how different forms of exercise can be challenging and how it leaves you with a comfortable feeling in your body.
Freedom of movement - from child to adult
We are born with an incredible level of flexibility and as young ones we use our body and its freedom of movement to travel in all directions. With yoga we look back at that freedom of movement that we once had, which we counteract and limit every day. Many have problems with their necks, shoulder and backs, experiences stiffness and soreness in these areas. Mette and Anna told me that they could feel a change in their lower back mobility as they embarked on their 30's. Because of this we focused our training on back bends and twists. These movements are not something we experience during the day and especially back bends can help strengthen the upper part of your back while easing tension in the back and shoulders.
By working with stretching and strength in yoga we can hopefully mend or pre-empt any injuries. Many are motivated to train through a desire to look a certain way, however we believe that training should be revolved around getting older while keeping your mobility in check. Many exercises in yoga and reformer Pilates can help better your posture, which must be the one thing making an old sole look young!
Mette and Anna have both tried yoga before and could both agree to the fantastic feeling your body and mind gets from an hour on a yoga mat. The conversation quickly closed in on why they don't do it more often. This was unknown, but for every time they try yoga or Pilates they hope to get more enlightened on their need for it. Hopefully, making the times between getting on the mat shorter and shorter.
What is reformer Pilates?
After an hour of yoga Mette and Anna were introduced to reformer Pilates. With this exercise the comfortable and calming feeling Mette and Anna got from yoga quickly disappeared, as they landed on the reformer.
During my time as a reformer Pilates instructor, I have seen the strongest and most well-trained men and women get tested to their limits though reformer Pilates. (AND with little to no weight on, I might add)
On the reformer we work with our own body weight supplement with springs to increase the resistance. Because the core is engaged at all times this type of workout gets sweaty quite quickly!
// Henriette Haugstrup, Yoga and Reformer Pilates instructor