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I Love Yoga and Pilates…I Hate not Getting a Calorie Burn

February 15, 2010


Who doesn’t want to be able to touch their toes, or be able to stretch their hands in the air and reach for the ceiling? Or how about seeing definition in the stomach and arms? Feeling and seeing results; breathing through the nose and out the mouth; getting an amazing stretch and some good relaxation and finally, doing all of it low impact. 

I love yoga. Yoga is the greatest stretch and active low-impact movement around. If I could do one type of exercise this would be it. It makes you move in ways that you didn’t know you could-toe touching into warrior into downward dog into upward dog. They all sound so insanely intimidating, but once you do it you realize that what you have been daunted by is really just great progress in surpassing what has given you anxiety. 

According to the American Yoga Association, yoga dates back more than 5,000 years. Yoga was invented with the intent to bring greater personal spirit, health and long life; conceiving the idea of an exercise that brings spiritual and physical well-being together. The yoga system itself is constructed on three main structures: exercise, breathing and meditation. Yoga exercise was designed to put pressure on the glandular systems; breathing techniques are based on the concept that breath is the source of life; the exercise and breathing brings your mind into a place that lets meditation take over and leaves you feeling calm and ready for the day when finished. 

I love that there are many different types of yoga. I have only done the basics-the class at the gym, workout DVD and on the Wii. Hatha, Karma and Bikram are just a few. I haven’t heard of the others but I am familiar with  Bikram yoga, only because it is what Jenny McCarthy does; just the fact that one form of exercise has been around for thousands of years, and has been able to modify itself into what the new age needs is amazing. 

I also love Pilates. I had never tried it before, I was too intimidated, but after trying the Pilates for Dummies DVD, I was converted. Who doesn’t love learning something that has Dummies in it? You know the moves will be broken down in to the simplest of terms; the beginners part was the easiest to get through. The intermediate part of the video got to be a bit harder, but it wasn’t hard maybe a little difficult. You learn to do the hundred, the roll-up and roll-over, the swimmer and side lift and the push-up-that one is the kicker, wew! 

A little Pilates history for you; Pilates was invented by German born gymnast Joseph Pilates in England in the early 20th century, during the First World War. After moving to England in 1912 and working as a circus performer and boxer he began training police officers at Scotland Yard in self-defense. During the war he was interned along with other German citizens on the Isle of Man. During his involuntary internship, he began seriously developing his “concept of an integrated, comprehensive system of physical exercise”. After the war he returned to Germany, then made his way to America and opened a studio in New York City with his wife, beginning the Pilates craze.   

An amazing yoga and Pilates blended workout DVD that I have done for a few years now is Crunch Super SlimDown. This DVD works you entire core in an easy, flowing way that makes the 45 minutes fly by. You start with some easy standing stretching moves, and then move to the floor for a bunch of core moves. This workout can be done by beginners-this was my real first attempt at yoga and Pilates and I followed the person who did the low impact, and I got through it and made it my daily morning routine. She does do some intense moves-the plank and Little Piece of Heaven-but by following the low-impact person it can be done. Also the instructor, Ellen Barrett, is awesome. I have another of her Crunch videos the Burn and Firm Pilates, and she has done some Self magazine workout DVDs that were good.   

I hate that I don’t burn calories with yoga or Pilates. As someone with weight to lose, I like to do workout videos or routines that burn, burn, BURN calories. I always feel good after doing yoga or Pilates, and I always sweat with it, but I do not burn the calories. The videos I have done, while low-impact, don’t torch anything. They lengthen and strengthen, but so do many other workouts that do torch my calories. 

I know that by doing yoga and Pilates I only burn between 150-200 calories for the 45 minute Crunch video. Granted that is good, but when you are told to burn as much as or more than you take in-well that doesn’t make for much intake does it. If I have cut out chocolate and soda, and I eat in a vegetarian lifestyle what more can you do? I have to do the high-burn exercises. 

Also, it doesn’t feel like you are doing a lot of exercise doing Pilates or yoga because it is all low impact. I love that it is low impact, because after doing the Turbo Jam and Shred videos I have talked about in prior posts, the low impact reminds your body to take it easy. But I hate that while I am doing the warrior pose or roll-up, it doesn’t get me going. It doesn’t always make me want to ingest all of my energy into the workout, which is a bad sign because I don’t want to work out unless I am benefiting. I have never been into meditation so unless something holds my attention, my attention won’t be on it for long. 

A yoga DVD I hate is Mtv Yoga Collection. Jeez, this one was pathetic. I didn’t enjoy it at all, if you can’t tell. I get that you have to do everything in repetition, but 6-8 times doing the exact same thing? Nope, not for me. That is how you lose me. My attention was not on my workout it was on how ridiculous it was to be doing it all over and over again. 

So, what do you think? Do you love Pilates and yoga? Do you have a favorite video you would like to suggest? Let me know your thoughts!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2011 10:41 am

    I just did the superslim down yoga/pilates combo and feel like I should definitely be getting a higher calorie burn than myfitness pal tells me I got. I did love it though. Great contrast to the running I usually do.

  2. Ashley permalink
    April 17, 2012 6:36 pm

    You will love Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. She takes you through many yoga poses in reps, and then brings you to hold the pose for 15 seconds. Its fantastic for toning and you will definitely feel the burn! Each level burns about 230 calories.

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