Yoga and Pilates for a Stronger, Fitter and Healthier Life
Yoga and Pilates have been the buzz exercises for the last few decades. Nearly 30 million people embrace one of these tranquil forms of exercise every day. They’re popular because they yield amazing results without jumping, bouncing, and intense weightlifting. Both focus on muscle toning, core strength, flexibility, coordination, posture, and stress relief, but yoga adds a mind-body awareness and spiritual element into its practice.
Starting a yoga practice requires learning some basic poses and getting a doable routine set up for yourself so you can reap the healing benefits of this discipline. The book Yoga Basics will set you up for success.
Yoga Basics is an ideal book for beginners. It shares classic postures along with breathing techniques and also dives into the practice of meditation. Part I starts off with a brief look at yoga’s history, philosophy, and different forms of yoga. Part II discusses the fundamental elements from choosing the style of yoga to props and clothing to finding a yoga class and more. Part III dives into postures, breathing, and meditation. Part IV shares various routines and even includes some weight loss exercises. All postures have at least one black and white photo as a reference so you can duplicate it. Lastly, Part V offers guidance for personalizing your practice of yoga.
Thrive Through Yoga is a 21-day journey of practicing yoga and implementing mindfulness and awareness. It’s designed to help repair your broken soul and free yourself from stress, anxiety, and worry. Each day you will be honing in on one topic, practicing self-care and thriving.
Take responsibility for your life so you can create the future you want.
Have hope that we can struggle through dark times and find ourselves.
Recreate yourself by letting go of the old self and establish who you are.
Initiate action by thinking your way to freedom.
Value change as a reflection of our personal growth.
Enjoy the journey and have as much fun as possible.
From facing your fears to embracing your beauty and overcoming perfectionism, each chapter explores different stepping stones on your journey to happiness and freedom and gives you daily inspiration, mindset exercises, meditations, and yoga routines to guide you every step of the way. The end of each chapter shares a sequence of yoga poses for each stepping stone. Part 6 has a Yoga Pose Library which acts as a guide with colored photos so you can figure out each pose and modify it if necessary. There are several poses that are not for beginners so you’ll have to discern which poses you are able to practice at your current exercise level.
Pilates for Living will get us stronger, fitter, and healthier as we age. As with any exercise book, it starts off with a brief history of the founder Joseph Pilate and why he created this form of exercise. Chapter 2 shares aging with pilates. Chapter 3 covers pilate principles, chapter 4 covers what equipment you’ll need to get you started, chapter 5 shares information on postural alignment, and chapter 6 talks about proper breathing.
I’m a visual learner so I appreciate all the colored images of people doing the steps in the warm-up chapter and the following exercise chapters. As we age, our balance is can become so hard to maintain. But, that does not mean we have to accept it. There is one chapter devoted to strengthening our balance with several easy to do exercises. I did the whole set and was surprised at how wobbly I was. To balance we need strong ankles and feet, and chapter 9 covers foot health and strengthening exercises.
In Chapter 10 you’ll find a plethora of pilate exercises you do on a mat. The chapter starts off with exercises for all levels of fitness, then breaks off into exercises that require modification for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. I would definitely deem myself a beginner, but I still felt the positive effects of each exercise. Chapter 11 covers post-activity stretches and chapter 12 offers 3 different 20-minute routines that you can incorporate into your day.
As you peruse the book there are also case studies that show how pilates helped certain individuals. You’ll also get ‘Professional Advice’ from an osteopath throughout the book. I really enjoyed going through this book and trying out several of the exercises.