Yoga and Pilates are distinct and complete disciplines, but they are also very compatible. Sometimes, dipping from one into the another can lend a fresh perspective to the way we approach an exercise or our yoga and Pilates workouts as a whole. Here, we have a set of 7 yoga poses that might offer new ways of deepening your Pilates practice.
This yoga sequence can be done on its own or combined with your Pilates routine. I've added notes on what the different poses might offer a Pilates practitioner as well as links to each pose at yoga at About.com. Try these yoga moves and see what you can discover about your Pilates practice by incorporating a little yoga from time to time.
Keep in mind that both yoga and Pilates are founded on working with the breath and an intention to integrate and elevate body, mind, and spirit.
Learn more about Pilates and yoga in The Yoga Pilates Connection.
Mountain Pose, Arms Up
Begin with alert, active standing. Check your posture. Legs are parallel, hip distance apart, shoulders are relaxed. Abdominal muscles are engaged but not tight. Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears are in a line. Gaze ahead.
Let your shoulder blades slide down your back as you sweep your arms out to the sides and bring them straight up overhead. The arms are parallel with palms facing each other.
Without lifting your shoulders, reach from your core through all the fingers, especially the pinkie.
Lift your chest and gaze upward.
Hold this pose 3 to 5 breaths
Use an inhale to lengthen your spine and return to upright. Return to basic standing.
Also see Urdhva Hastasana at About.com Yoga.
Pilates notes: One of the best ways to start any workout, yoga or Pilates, is to begin by finding your balance and establishing a strong center. To begin standing is a good way to transition from daily movement into your workout. This is your moment to mark a beginning. Note that mountain, arms up incorporates the Pilates fundamental arms over and moves very nicely into wall roll down (with or without the wall).