Yoga is a full-body, mental, and spiritual form of exercise. Going to the gym can get you down. There's nothing worse than comparing yourself to others, and sometimes you just can't help it when you're surrounded by people of all body-types lifting the same weights you are. Elite Daily's Francesca Maximé argues that for this reason, yoga is the best form of exercise for everyone.
According to Maximé, yoga helps participants realize more than their own strength; it helps you love your body:
In class, I have to focus and concentrate to hold a pose. I have to make sure I'm balancing myself so I don't topple over. I have to reach within myself to try to “hold on” for a few more breaths.
All of these things are basic life training. They're helping me cultivate patience, tolerance and acceptance of my body as it is, and it does so in a way that a more frenetic workout could never do.
Maximé says that each yoga session she does fills her with positivity and self-acceptance, and she lost 35 lbs. in the process. It's hard to beat that.
Pilates is a great form of exercise for athletes of all levels. Whether you're just getting started with your fitness journey, you're a seasoned expert, or you're recovering from an injury, Pilates is a great way to develop strength throughout your body.
Pilates is perfect for toning your muscles and increasing flexibility. It also focuses heavily on improving posture and "contrology," a term coined by the exercise's founder, Joseph Pilates. According to Pilates himself, this kind of fitness revolves around "the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit." Very Well Fit's Marguerite Ogle writes:
This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.