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Many Pilates exercises may be enhanced by using props such as bolsters, balls, or large, stretchy pilates bands.
A pilates move using a stretchy band that resembles yoga's reclining big toe pose is the single leg circle. In pilates, using the exercise band serves a similar purpose as the belt or strap in yoga. To do the one leg circle with a band, lie on your back with your legs in front of you. Wrap the stretchy band around the ball of the left leg and hold one end of the band in each hand. Pull on the band just enough to provide some resistance, and start by making small circles with the foot, pressing into the band as you do so.
As with many pilates poses, the benefits are similar to the yoga pose it resembles (reclining big toe pose). You will stretch and strengthen the hips and hamstrings.
The bottom line is, whether you choose yoga or pilates, you can find props to help you get the most out of each movement.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|