Pilates & Yoga are both therapeutic forms of exercise. At Mind the Mat we use the word therapeutic to describe forms of movement that are intentionally designed for safety and to achieve a specific purpose such as addressing pain and injury, increasing range of motion and strength, creating functional movement patterns and greater postural awareness, or balancing the nervous system and reducing stress.
What is the difference between Pilates & Yoga?
Pilates utilizes both specific exercises and skilled cuing to engage the deepest layer of the abdominal wall. These muscles are important stabilizers because they provide muscular support for the spine. You can think of your core muscles as an internal corset. By contrast, other types of abdominal exercises engage the outer abdominal layers and hip flexors, often torquing your low back, affecting your posture negatively and potentially causing injury. The famous six pack (outer abdominals) looks great on the beach, but does not help with spinal stability.
Yoga focuses on achieving a balance, in your body and in your mind. In yoga, finding proper alignment is key. For example, in a pose such as Warrior II (see below), once proper alignment and engagement of muscles is found (through expert cuing), you will build strength in your thighs, glutes, back and arms, while simultaneously stretching your hip flexors and toning your pelvic floor. The result is a body in balance. In yoga, a balanced body translates into a balanced mind. Deep breathing is implemented in all postures to support focus, clarity of mind, cellular health, and stress reduction.
Within the disciplines of Pilates & Yoga are various styles, some for beginners, some gentle, some more challenging and advanced. At Mind the Mat we are committed to helping you find the class that is right for you. We carefully craft classes to assist a wide range of clients, from athletes, those with injuries, pregnant women, new moms, seniors, and more. Your questions and suggestions are always welcome!
Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.
Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.