This month has been dedicated to discussing the benefits of a strengthened core as well as ways to achieve better strength overall. But many of our runners and triathletes have been asking about the better method to cross-train: Yoga or Pilates? We turned to Team Amino Vital expert, Paula Smith, for answers. According to Paula, both Yoga and Pilates are great ways to get your body in better shape, strengthen your muscles, relieve stress and gain more flexibility. The movements and poses in yoga focus on building flexibility and strength while meditation helps relieve stress. Many people not only see physical improvements while practicing, but emotional and spiritual improvements, as well. Pilates, however, was developed to gain flexibility, strength and body awareness without building bulk. It’s considered a resistance exercise, and the routine is performed on a mat or by using equipment such as the reformer. The main goal of Pilates is to strengthen the stomach from the core muscles out, improve posture, stabilize and elongate the spine, and develop balance and overall strength. Paula explains there is no need to choose between the two. Paula practices Pilates to help build core strength (which helps improve yoga performance) and yoga to help lower risk of muscle injury and for general stress relief.