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How Can Yoga, Pilates, and Core Align Make You Stronger, Leaner, and More Flexible?

Updated: May 30, 2020

What is the secret to getting more flexible, leaner and stronger from exercises like Yoga, Pilates and Core Align? Practice! The front-cover of a national health magazine caught my attention immediately with this headline:

"Live, Laugh, Love: Quick Tips to Find More Joy in Every Day."

Great, I thought. That's exactly what I'm trying to do – cultivate more joy and happiness in my life. So, I flipped through the magazine to see what suggestions the writers and editors might offer. My search was fruitless. Not only did the magazine fail to provide easy answers to joy's embrace, but it also did not have any articles that specifically addressed the advertised topic.

I should not have been surprised. I know well enough that happiness is a state of mind that requires regular practice and deep commitment, just like everything else that's worthwhile in life. There are no shortcuts.

What does all of this have to do with Holly's Pilates Village? The message from my futile hunt for happiness tips reinforces the value we place on regular practice, great coaching, and dedication when learning techniques for healthy movement. Without those key components we can't sustain positive changes in wellness. Quick fixes don't last. Ask anyone who has tried a crash diet.

The people in our studio who get the best results – at any age and in any condition – are those who practice consistently over time. Many people also benefit greatly from adding a complementary form of exercise to strengthen their regular routines. This is one of the reasons that we offer so many great options, including multiple forms of yoga, CoreAlign, and TRX Cardio classes, in addition to our main line of Pilates programs.

We see the benefits of consistency and richer connections over and over: One 85-year-old woman began scheduling two private Pilates sessions instead of once a week and developed demonstrably better balance and strength in just two months.

A Deep Stretch Pilates practitioner added Restorative Yoga to his regular workouts and saw his stress levels plummet and his flexibility gains soar.

Of course, not everyone has the time or the financial means to come to classes as often as they would like. But there are ways to stretch your budget and manage your schedule, such as trying a Mat and Springboard class instead of your regular Reformer class to test your skills without the aid of equipment. Or you might try to work with a partner in a duet session or add a private session with one of our Apprentice Pilates Teachers to reduce costs and gain more weekly sessions. We try to find solutions for anyone who asks.

We also try to practice what we preach, modeling our commitment to Pilates and yoga. Teachers at Holly's Pilates Village continually engage in professional learning to refine the scope of their practice. Look around, and you will see evidence of teachers regularly engaged in self-practice, observation, and learning from and with each other to improve their craft. For example:

  • Avery Davis routinely takes herself through the exercises that she is planning to teach her students later in the day.

  • Teresa Willis often comes in on her days off to feel in her body the Pilates repertoire that she will share with students enrolled in the studio's Teacher Training Program.

  • Dawn Adcock regularly takes Deep Stretch Pilates class because she knows it makes her feel better, and then she steps in as a substitute teacher to lead the class when regular teacher Dr. Divya Cantor is out of town.

  • Pilates Teacher Claire Greenlee often attends yoga classes because she has seen the improvements in her stamina and flexibility from purposeful cross-training.

  • Multiple Pilates teachers routinely attend a special CoreAlign class for Instructors taught by Molly Mitchell because they know they must keep advancing their own practice so they can better address the needs of students.

So, here's our inside scoop: The only way to go deeper is to keep working. There are no shortcuts.

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