Bridging Yoga & Pilates Together

By Kathrin Brunner

Yoga asana classes link movement with breath and encourage a mindful approach. An asana class creates conditions to practice encountering intensity with ease and to notice deeply what is arising in the

present moment. Yoga is much deeper than physical ‘exercise’, it is a way of life with a long and intricate history.

Pilates is a system of exercises that aim to target the ability to move from our ‘core’ for greater stability and coordination. Pilates was originally designed as a rehab protocol to improve circulation, create better movement patterns and restore vitality. Contemporary Pilates focuses on proper breathing mechanics to support movement, improving posture and alignment, increasing balance and coordination, and reducing pain and tension.

Pilates can be an excellent accompaniment to yoga asana because both practices train the integration between the nervous system, the mechanics of the breath, and the mindful movement of the body.

By adding Pilates, the ability to move with strength and control is increased making challenging yoga poses more accessible and helping to prevent injuries. By increasing the depth of knowledge for how to use the ‘core’ and move the lower and upper body in a coordinated way, balance postures (and everyday life off the mat!) become easier, and mobility and posture is improved.

Movement teachers, including yoga teachers, intuitively know it’s important to move with stability that comes from an integrated centre. But cues like ‘engage your core’ or ‘pull your navel to your spine’ lack

the knowledge and specific directions to help students progress. Pulling the belly button to the spine does not ‘engage the core’ in a meaningful way and may cause excessive tension that restricts healthy

movement patterns. Similarly cueing students to breathe into their bellies may create tension on the pelvic floor muscles that lead to dysfunction. Learning Pilates is a path to better knowledge of the body so

we can ourselves move, and cue our students to move, with greater confidence and better results.

UPCOMING: JUNE 18TH AND 25TH, 2022 || 10 – 3 PM EST

Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Course

Kathrin is a yoga and Pilates instructor with over a decade of teaching experience. She’s completed trainings in traditional, contemporary, restorative and rope wall yoga. She went on to certify in Pilates and mobility and strength training. She integrates these various modalities in her classes to create sequences that are intelligent, creative and targeted to improving movement on and off the mat.

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