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Developed in India in the 15th century, it is believed that through Hatha Yoga one can purify the body and make it fit for meditation. Hatha comes from two words and two forces. Ha- is the active and masculine force of the sun. Tha- is the feminine and receptive energy of the moon. They join together to purify the body. Great for beginners since the pace is slow and gentle. It is easier to learn the asanas (postures), the breathing and principles of Yoga.
Vinyasa Yoga is derived from Hatha Yoga and is also referred to as Ashtanga which means dynamic, concentrating postures. There is a flow between asanas (postures) linking movement of postures to breath. This style has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system as the flowing movement heats up and stretches the muscles of the body.
Both Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga styles help the body become more supple and strong, improve breath work, calm the mind and prevent disease. They work toward the same goal- fitness of the body and mind.
A complete and corrective system of exercise created by Joseph Pilates. His studies were particularly influenced to seek balanced equality in mind, body and spirit. Pilates mat-work is the purist form since this was designed 1st long before his apparatus. You can do his specific exercises anywhere. All you need is a mat. Most exercises take place on your back or stomach purposely using gravity in this way to correct unbalance in your body. You will feel how the moves create opposition in your muscles to make them strong and lean. Creating this strong centre will benefit with increase height, better flexibility, increase brain function, improve co-ordination with control, reduce back pain, decrease illness and build inner confidence.