I just spent the past two months in STOTT pilates training.  It was excellent training, especially with focus and emphasis on how the body moves from an anatomical perspective.  The teachers were superb, and I am sure what I have learned will not only better my skill set as  yoga teacher, but help my students become stronger and better balanced in their bodies.

I have to admit that I was not “hooked” the way I was with yoga in this training.  Don’t get me wrong-I very much believe and have learned in my own body that if you want to have a flourishing yoga practice, you must have a strong trunk!  The stronger and more balanced you can make those deep abdominals, the more opportunity to progress in a strong and steady practice.

After 40 hours of class training, I had to ask myself:  why was I not as “hooked” into pilates as I am into yoga?  The answer was a no-brainer:  Pilates focuses on the body, the breath and knowing where to best place your energy within each movement pattern.  Yoga of course covers all of these bases, but there is one very important component that pilates doesn’t practice:  the philosophy.

Don’t get me wrong…we live in America, baby!  Most of us were or still are driven to yoga based off of the physical workout it can provide.  Pick up any fitness magazine, and you will find Hollywood movie stars boasting they built those long, lean muscles through yoga practice.  Yes, this surely can happen and thank goodness it does because for most Americans, it’s the physical practice that is the “hook.”

But yoga has become so much more than a weekly arm, leg and butt toner for me.  (Granted, it’s a nice plus:)  Yoga has and still is teaching me patience, gratitude, good humor, how to breath in the midst of craziness, a deeper understanding and better sense of my own thoughts and emotions, and inner peace.  AND the practice doesn’t stop at the mat.  Can we say OM?!?

The physical practice of yoga is just the tip of the iceberg.  And THAT is why yoga will forever be my love!