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Thread: Yoga and/or Pilates

  1. #1
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    Default Yoga and/or Pilates

    Probably not a right or wrong to this one, but is one more helpful to overall core strength and mobility than the other? I've been doing yoga for a bit, and thinking I'd like to try some pilates classes as well. Budget dictates that I can't do both weekly.... (PS -- have read the core workouts wikified thread so this is for some additional insights/commentary to that good stuff)
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Pilates is a tool to add to your quiver. Learn the basics of intermediate mat work than move on. Pilates changed how I sit on a bike for the good and to this day I use some of it weekly. It is good to mix it up things like kettlebell, yoga, pilates, chopping wood add up to a complete metrosexual solution for the lack of heavy farm work ;) All kidding aside, I'm not kidding. Most of us lack access and reason for hard effin' work to keep us strong and flexible. These tools are just that, convenient tools to use as needed.

    I like yoga and use a wee bit of it everyday and am especially fond of sun salutation as part of a super quick recovery routine. There are forms of yoga that "do it all" but I'm not that guy who can devote 3 or 4 hrs. each week to it.

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Yoga is also a wonderful tool to work / strehgthen the core and other parts of the body while in the same work out providing a good stretch. I do approximately 5 hours of yoga per week and as Josh said, it has allowed me to change my position on the bike for the better. I have dialed back the number of classes that I attend each week from 5 to 1. I still attend one class to ensure that I am doing the postures correctly. I worked with my favorite yoga instructor to create 1 routine and am currently working with her to create two more routines to emphasize different parts of the body. This is the most cost effective method to do yoga correctly and would probably allow you to do both yoga and pilates.

    Mark Stephens wrote an incredible book; Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes

    The sequences in this book are a great beginning to creating a Vinyasa type yoga routine. I am using these routines as a startiong point with my teacher to create more specific routines for my needs. Just my $.02
    life is too short to drink bad wine....

    Stuart Levy

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Yoga is good.
    Do it.
    It makes everything better.

    The bride was after me for 10 years to start. 3 years ago I listened. It does a body good.
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Check out restorative yoga sometime, uses pillows and blocks and is all about "opening" up the body, relaxing muscle tissue and deep relaxed breath. Great for after a killer ride, better than massage sometimes IME.
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    yoga was fantastic for me during my rowing days. I ended up herniating a disc in my back and phased it in as part of the 'active recovery.' Hasn't bothered me since switching over to cycling, but part of that is undoubtedly thanks to yoga (imo)
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Over the last couple years, there has been a lot of discussion in NYC about injuries from yoga as a result of inexperienced/poorly or insufficiently trained teachers and a shift to a more intense, competitive energy in a lot of yoga classes. If you are doing this to help with recovery from an injury, check out the teachers and the temper of the classes and be willing to walk out and try a different one. Pilates may be a better choice simply because (at least in my experience) the class sizes tend to be smaller (especially for reformer work,) there is established training for pilates that brings some uniformity, and many of the teachers are not "just" pilates instructors, but former dancers, PT's, nurses, etc. who use pilates as it was intended - as physical therapy recovery from injury. My instructor is constantly shifting the movements and exercises we do in order to strengthen muscles without re-injuring the problem area.
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Over the last couple years, there has been a lot of discussion in NYC about injuries from yoga as a result of inexperienced/poorly or insufficiently trained teachers and a shift to a more intense, competitive energy in a lot of yoga classes.
    There was a very interesting NYT's article on this a while ago... Link is here. I felt the article was a bit anecdotal and all the same symptoms of over-exercise and men getting obsessive and getting it wrong can be seen in most bike forums as well...

    I got bad RSI about 12 years ago and one of the top nerve damage specialists in the UK said I probably wouldn't be able to do things like write or type without pain again. A year of slow and miserable recovery followed which started with Alexander Technique and then blossomed out into yoga. I still practice yoga and feel it has massively helped with overcoming (or at least retarding) the degredation sitting at a desk causes each day.

    Two years ago I went skiing in some powder and at the end of the day got back after thrashing myself and found I had basically triggered IT Band Syndrome. I went to a very good physio and she basically said "you have a lazy bum and your core is weak". I said I do lots of yoga. She proceeded to pull out an ultrasound (as in used for babies) and got me to turn my core on and off. It was weak.

    I then did very specialised and focused pilates exercises for a while and will do them forever more to keep the core strong.

    So basically what I am saying is yoga and pilates are life saving. However, I would echo the 'find a good teacher' recommendation. I think doing the first few private if you have the money is well worth it. Set yourself up right.

    Even if you can't access good teachers directly there are other resources. In Korea there are no good yoga classes. None. Zip. I use myyogaonline.com just to keep myself going. Not perfect. Especially as the studio I went to Hong Kong was otherworldly good (anahata yoga if anyone wants a recommendation there). But something.

    Enjoy it!
    Tom Walshe

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Pilates is great, Yoga is totally different from teacher to teacher and class to class. There are more varieties of Yoga then there are of bicycles and one class is as similar to any other as a beach cruiser is to a cross bike. It is likely that you can find Yoga that will do exactly what you want it to do. I like restorative (a descendant of Iyengar) for after ride but a tough vinyasa class will push you as hard as any workout on bike or off and kundalini could be 100 different things. So for a great core workout, I suggest seeing if you can find an Ashtanga or Vinyasa class. Either one will likely kick your ass and stretch you out at the same time. And if you don't have many choices, contact the schools and ask which class for an athlete looking to gain core strength. Note that none of this is actually the purpose of yoga. Yoga was invented to help one to be still. The rest is side benefit.
    Dovid@dhoffman.consulting



    Fundamentally the marksmen aims at himself.
    -Zen in the Art of Archery

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Please note that if you have bad shoulders that Vinyasa or a yoga practice with Sun salutations would not be for you. There is one movement Chaturanga Dandasana Yoga Journal - Four-Limbed Staff Pose is hard on shoulders. If you have any type of disc problems then twisting positions are also not good. As everyone said, find a good teacher that will work with you and modify poses as needed.
    life is too short to drink bad wine....

    Stuart Levy

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Really appreciate all the help here. I have been doing some yoga classes, and given the feedback here I think I'll give Pilates a go for a bit and continue the yoga on my own with some videos. Founds some good ones in this thread (to which many of you contributed -- thanks!)
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    tele:

    My $.02, I would perdiodically go to a yoga class to ensure that you are doing the poses correctly, as doing a pose incorrectly can sometimes lead to an injury.
    life is too short to drink bad wine....

    Stuart Levy

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Over the last couple years, there has been a lot of discussion in NYC about injuries from yoga as a result of inexperienced/poorly or insufficiently trained teachers and a shift to a more intense, competitive energy in a lot of yoga classes. If you are doing this to help with recovery from an injury, check out the teachers and the temper of the classes and be willing to walk out and try a different one. Pilates may be a better choice simply because (at least in my experience) the class sizes tend to be smaller (especially for reformer work,) there is established training for pilates that brings some uniformity, and many of the teachers are not "just" pilates instructors, but former dancers, PT's, nurses, etc. who use pilates as it was intended - as physical therapy recovery from injury.
    I've done yoga and pilates on and off for years and couldn't agree more.

    Yoga classes are all across the map, and for most guys (and by that I do mean men) I think it is really important to find a yoga instructor and group that are not goal oriented or similarly motivated. When I approach yoga as some improvement to be accomplished through effort and will, I inevitably end up with some minor injury. If the instructor or class gives off that vibe, I pass. I once took an early morning class filled with stressed out over achievers chattering on about mindfulness was a way to get an edge on their less focused peers....

    For whatever reason, Pilates instructors I've dealt with do seem to be more focused on listening to the limits, however small, of your body in the way that you must when you are recovering from a real injury.

    I like Pilates for recovery, repair and rebuilding. Yoga, for maintaining.
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Don't be a flowtard.

    I do think yoga makes everything better. But I prefer back bends and balancing and twists and inversions to endless push-ups.
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    kettlebell
    I'm on week 8 of 10 for a once a week kettlebell intro class with a few other cyclist. Some of the warmup/cool down is a bit yoga-ish and the mix in with the bells seems perfect.

    I can see how the bells can help make you "farmer strong"... gives me flashbacks to throwing firewood uphill. I always wondered why my dad cut wood downhill from the truck. Maybe he did that on purpose...

    -Bernie
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Quote Originally Posted by einreb View Post
    I'm on week 8 of 10 for a once a week kettlebell intro class with a few other cyclist. Some of the warmup/cool down is a bit yoga-ish and the mix in with the bells seems perfect.

    I can see how the bells can help make you "farmer strong"... gives me flashbacks to throwing firewood uphill. I always wondered why my dad cut wood downhill from the truck. Maybe he did that on purpose...

    -Bernie
    You know d@mn well he did.

    Sooooo, I've been taking a Flow Yoga class 2 and 3 times / week. One of the sessions is heated yoga and others in a normal temp room. What I've disliked in the past at other studios is the need for constant correction to achieve the perfect form. These folks are singing my song, help me get it mostly right along with a butt kicking workout. Every inch of me is sore, this is good stuff and helps break up the torture of Todd Hollands challenge months ;) hehe Kidding, because of Todd's leadership I've really enjoyed the challenges and I'm better for it. Yoga is keeping me fresh and (tap tap tap) biding my time until I can ride outside more.

    FWIIW Some of the regulars in my class are freakin' monstrously strong. I'm taking notes, they have a good thing going on.

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Since the weather turned back in November, I've been hitting 4-5 yoga classes a week in addition to getting on the trainer. A mix of instructors, styles, and intensities, but it's all good. Some of the classes are for the geriatric set (which includes me) and are more about gentle flow. Others beat me up in a good way (other than popping a rib - but then, I had a crash on the trainer last year so maybe that's on me;-). Some are more meditative, some more physical - it depends on the instructor, and where you want to take it.

    In addition to the improvements in core strength and flexibility, it's making me much more aware of how I sit on the bike, where the tension comes from, and what is connected to what. I also have a pretty good inventory of where I'm strong or flexible enough, and where I ain't. I've also noticed myself starting to use breathing techniques when the going starts getting hard on the bike.

    I have had some over use issues - mostly wrist and forearm related - but they were self-inflicted, and I've worked through them. As others have pointed out, our egos sometime cause us to write cheques our bodies can't cash. Once I learned to use my breath as a guide to how hard is hard enough, and stopped treating each session as a contest, things got better. As Clint said " a man's got to know his limitations";-)

    I can't speak to Pilates, but yoga is now is a permanent part of my program.
     

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    I took a regular yoga class for a couple of years. But schlepping out to do it seemed silly when I could listen to my body and do the routines i need in the moment at home while saving the driving. Plus I add foam roller work. Saves time and energy while focusing on just what I need.
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Good stuff Guy. I felt the same regarding Pilates and am coming full circle. Suffering in the company of others is a nice motivation.

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    Default Re: Yoga and/or Pilates

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Good stuff Guy. I felt the same regarding Pilates and am coming full circle. Suffering in the company of others is a nice motivation.
    If you are suffering, you are doing your Yoga wrong. I can't speak for Pilates.
    Guy Washburn

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