The term “gentle gymnastics” includes various practices, most of which could also be included within the group known as “mind and body techniques”.
In any case, it must also be taken into account that, in recent years, many sports centers have been included in their activities.
- Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and hypopressive gymnastics are “soft gymnastics” activities of various origins that have become fashionable in recent years due to their benefits.
- The control of breathing, muscle problems or the improvement of mobility and flexibility, are some of the strengths that these sports modalities work.
- Currently, these sports practices are taught in any sports center.
It is an ancient practice whose origin is in India. In the culture in which yoga was born, it is not only a way to gain well-being on a physical but also mental level. In fact, it can be defined as the search for balance between body and mind . In addition, who include yoga in your routine, follows a philosophy of life changing habits at the level of power , for example, that make it a whole lifestyle.
In Western culture, yoga has become a widespread activity practiced by thousands of people seeking the benefits it provides at different levels. The postures (or asanas) that are practiced, together with the work of breathing, allow to obtain improvement in agility, flexibility, balance and also in relaxation and concentration since it is worked from meditation. At the respiratory level, it is ideal for people with a tendency to nervousness and anxiety as it helps control breathing and is a job that can be applied on a day-to-day basis. In addition, it improves oxygenation and in this way a feeling of well-being is achieved.
At present there are several and numerous schools and streams. It is about looking for a center where there are professionals who teach it and choosing the type of yoga that best suits our needs and objectives. It is important to adapt the level of demand to each individual and their physical condition, although it is a practice recommended for all ages and sexes .
As a therapy, it is recommended, along with others, in cancer patients since, according to various studies, it is possible to reduce the level of medication that these patients must take.
On the other hand, some psychiatrists value yoga as an adjunctive therapy for disorders such as depression.
But it is not only recommended when there is an established or diagnosed pathology. Following some recently published studies, where short-term effects have been described in reducing blood pressure levels and heart rate, yoga is spoken of as a cardiovascular preventive method .
It is a martial art of Chinese origin whose beginnings were focused on fighting. At present, due to the joint and muscular movements that it implies, together with the aspect of meditation, benefits are obtained both at the body and mental level . It is like a meditation in movement in which global muscle relaxation and the reduction of joint overload are sought through postural modifications.
Being slow and smooth movements it is recommended for those who have joint and / or muscle problems. There are clinical studies that mention, for example, that arthritis or chronic fatigue syndrome are pathologies that benefit from their practice because it improves range of motion, balance, flexibility and strength . It is one of these improvements at the level of balance that offers the best results since the number of falls in this type of patient is avoided and reduced.
This activity can be done individually, in pairs (Tuishou) or in a group. If it is carried out in a group, there is also a benefit that is not very objective but very important: that of socialization. The fact of surrounding yourself with people with similar interests helps not only to feel comfortable but also to retain continuity, so the benefits will be more secure.
Unlike those previously mentioned, this activity has a European origin . It was created by Joseph Pilates during the Second World War with a therapeutic objective, but today its practice is universal and has spread not only as therapy but also at a preventive level, of the muscles of the spine or of what is known as ” core “. In addition, the technique is used as a training guideline in disciplines totally different from Pilates, such as sports gymnastics.
Its popularization means that this activity can be found both in sports centers and in specialized centers. In these different modalities are practiced with machines or on the ground . With regard to machines, one of the best known would be the “Reformer”, a kind of “bed” with springs, pulleys and grips that allow the body to slide to improve physical condition.
Breathing is another of the key points of this modality. If done correctly, lung capacity and blood circulation can be improved .
Anyway, the most common recommendations for the practice of Pilates are directed to those who have back problems . Therefore, before starting, it is essential to discuss it with the professional who is going to develop the therapy so that they can assess the current state of health. It must be taken into account and thus it will be customized to the maximum to obtain the best results.
Created by Marcel Caufriez in the 20th century, it is based on selectively enhancing the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor .
This methodology has been incorporated into gym classes aimed at older people, especially women, since with age our muscle tone, both abdominal and pelvic, decreases. It is highly recommended for postmenopausal women or women with urinary problems , as well as for those who have been diagnosed with a hernia or have weak abdominal or lumbar muscles . Other benefits are improved posture of the spine and postural balance.