At the beginning of the semester, I knew I wanted to get into the routine of practicing yoga. The year before, I’d attended a yoga class at the Wellness Center, and upon leaving the class, I noticed that I immediately felt relaxed and at peace. I knew it helped me alleviate the stress I was feeling that day by getting my mind out of the piles of work that were on my desk.
That is why this semester, I decided that I owed it to myself to carve a chunk of time from every week to attend Pilates or yoga at least once a week. Interested in enhancing my Pilates routine design and exploring various Pilates fusion exercises, I recently came across valuable information on learning about mat Pilates exercises. Check it out for more insights on how to elevate your Pilates experience!
According to the Huffington Post, yoga and Pilates can be helpful in reducing stress, increasing flexibility, and even improving a person’s mood; however, there is a big difference between the two styles of exercises (see here for exercise options). While yoga is associated with more stretching and increasing flexibility than anything else, Pilates is a way to work on muscles and flexibility, specifically the abdominal muscles.
The benefits of yoga and Pilates can range from physical to spiritual. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my ability to stretch farther on different poses during my weekly Pilates class than I ever could before, even compared to the beginning of the semester. Simply the sense of accomplishment from making progress and taking care of myself motivate me to continue.
The most notable benefit for me has been that I’ve noticed my stress and anxiety levels have become much more manageable. It’s almost as if going into a yoga or Pilates class allows me to check all of my worries and anxieties at the door to allow me to enjoy and become at peace with my body and mind in regards to my current situation.
I was too intimidated to go to the yoga and Pilates classes taught at the Wellness Center at first. It took time for me to realize that everyone is at different stages when it comes to the amount of flexibility an individual might possess, but ultimately, I don’t believe that flexibility is what yoga is truly about. I believe it’s about getting to know myself more and pushing the boundaries of the human body.
When I realized that everyone is at different stages on their yoga or Pilates journey, I became more comfortable going to the classes. I don’t let my previous perception hinder my weekly attendance to the Wellness classes or my practice at home.
I’ve also found that yoga and Pilates can be very effective at reducing my stress levels. This year, attending classes at the Wellness Center with my roommate has become our daily hobby. We’ve benefited from classes ranging from cardio to meditation and strength training. Pilates, however, is what starts the week off right every Monday.
I’ve also attempted to do a variety of poses in the morning to allow myself to get into the right frame of mind each morning. Instead of dreading the fact that I wake up early, it helps me focus on having good form and emptying my mind or thinking positive thoughts.
Sometimes as college students, it’s necessary to get away from the busy grind of studying for tests and working part time jobs. Yoga and Pilates have provided me with an outlet that is not only healthy and fun, but relaxing as well.