Yoga and Pilates are two forms of back pain exercise programs. Each has its own unique focuses that appeal to people suffering from acute or chronic back pain. Yogalates is a fusion of yoga and Pilates that people have been turning to recently for pain relief.
There are many forms of yoga, each emphasizing different values and health benefits. In general, yoga is a movement therapy that emphasizes breathing, posture, spinal elongation and alignment, the stretching and strengthening of muscles and mindfulness, all of which are practiced through poses. Yoga is a whole-body system that incorporates both physical and mental disciplines to facilitate overall health and balance.
Pilates practice also involves both the mind and body. Its physical emphasis is on core strength and proper posture, which is encouraged by mental awareness of movement and posture. Core strength is a key player in back pain treatment, since the muscles of the core support posture and spinal alignment. Weak or imbalanced core muscles can cause significant pain in the lower back and hips. Muscles that fail to support the upper body can cause poor posture; weak muscles become strained and the spine can suffer misalignment. Disc problems such as herniation and bulging can result from changes is vertebral angles that occur when the spine is not kept upright. Imbalanced core muscles exert uneven pulling forces on the pelvis and spine, causing postural dysfunction, muscle strain and spinal misalignment. By encouraging core strength, flexibility and balance, Pilates can prevent or resolve back pain.
Traditional yoga originates in the East and has existed for over 5,000 years. Pilates was developed in the 1920’s by physical trainer Joseph Pilates and was intended as a physical rehabilitation program. Fusing the ancient eastern and modern western disciplines makes the main tenets of both accessible to people of diverse backgrounds and abilities. For those specifically seeking back pain treatment, this fusion may be ideal. Jonathan Urla, Pilates instructor and personal trainer, is credited with the invention of Yogalates, or Yogilates as it was originally named, in 1997.
Those who seek the unique spiritual component of yoga or the development of core strength alone would do best to pursue yoga and Pilates separately. Yogalates is best for those seeking to rehabilitate back pain who aren’t concerned about experiencing either discipline in its pure form.
A typical Yogalates session will involve classic yoga postures and Pilates core-building exercises. They are available in beginner’s, intermediate and advanced levels. You may choose to attend a class or use a DVD or book for instruction. Practicing under the guidance of a trained instructor is ideal if you suffer back pain; this will ensure you are not moving in a way that can increase your pain. At www.youtube.com, you can view of a video clip from a Yogalates class in Spain for an idea of what your sessions may include.
When practicing any new form of exercise, it is important to take precautions, especially if you suffer a back pain condition. See ezinearticles.com for tips on yoga poses to avoid if you have certain causes of back pain. If you have a severe core muscle imbalance, the core-building exercises of Pilates may worsen your pain by increasing tension in already-tight muscles. Talk with a physical therapist or other knowledgeable specialist about muscle imbalances before pursuing a core workout plan.
The stretching, strengthening, awareness and balance encouraged by Yogalates practice make this movement therapy appealing to those seeking back pain relief. Consider pursuing Yogalates for a natural, whole-body approach to treatment.