Life is not always easy. Maintaining a lifestyle, work, social obligations and family issues can create pressure in the day to day routine of living. Stress reduction is a common desire of many people. Yoga and pilates are two very popular ways of coping with stress. Learning effective ways of coping with stress can enable a better quality of life.

Yoga pilates is offered in many places and can be found in most communities. With a little effort, classes can be found to meet demanding schedules. Classes can be individual settings or in groups. The availability of classes is increasing in most communities as yoga and pilates become more popular and mainstream. Some locations to find classes are:

*Community Center
*Church Locations
*Fitness Center
*Holistic Center

When searching for a location it is important to be objective and flexible in what you are looking for. Class times can vary and usually be matched to any busy schedule. Sometimes schedules change monthly or each quarter so it is good to always be looking for a class time that works for your schedule.

The difference between yoga and pilates can be minimal, and can depend on the instructor teaching the class. As a general rule, pilates is more about gentle stretching and toning the body in a relaxed and non invasive manner, while yoga combines gentle stretching, breathing techniques and mediation. Both tend to be a kind to the body but still provide a good work out.

Pilates can be performed with movements using only the body or machines can be combined with the process. There is a machine called a reformer that allows pulley movements to assist with stretching and exercise and a Cadillac machine which enables the movements to be performed in conjunction with a spotter to concentrate on finite muscle training.

Mat pilates is done on a yoga mat and concentrates on using the body as the primary focus of exercise. At times, weights or props can be used to facilitate a particular movement. Group pilates classes are popular and are great for stress reduction.

Yoga is a combination of stretching while concentrating on specific parts of the body. Learning to direct the breath is a part of a successful practice. The mind is also trained to relax and facilitate relaxation and meditation. Yoga is extremely useful for reducing stress and gaining balance and flexibility. Individuals enjoying the practice of yoga find that their routine can be fine tuned to meet their individual needs as opposed to being in competition with others.

Taking the time to exert the effort to find a pilates or yoga class can greatly improve health and general well being. A busy life can often become more balanced when exercise and mediation are incorporated into a lifestyle. People find that the body, mind and spirit can work in harmony and make the natural quality of life better. Learning to manage stress and combine exercise with mediation is embraced by most health care professionals.

Author's Bio: 

Anna Wehr has learned a lot about pilates and yoga practices and how a pilates work out can tone the body.