I don't really think any exercise can make a person taller. Sometimes a combination of stretching and flexibility give people the appearance of increased height, but in my opinion, it's just because the person has good posture or has lost weight.
Yoga offers a combination of strength training and flexibility training. It is not a cardio workout, but like any activity, you'll burn calories. It'll help with balance, and because of this, it'll work your core and a lot of the supporting muscles you don't always use when doing traditional weight lifting. Yoga has the added benefit of "exercising" your body and mind at the same time.
Pilates is heavily centered on strengthening your core--this means your abs/obliques and lower back primarily. There is a lot of flexibility work, and there are Pilates workouts targeted for different parts of your body as well. Most Pilates is not a cardio workout, although there are cardio Pilates workouts on the market.
I don't know much about Tai Chi, except that it's very similar to yoga regarding flexibility, and the mind/body connection. The movements of Tai Chi seem to have more of an obvious rhythm and "purpose" (it's more like a martial art than just a series of poses) than yoga. Most of the moves are done while standing, which will probably increase the heart rate a bit more than mat work.
All of the above are very similar to one another, and I would say that you should perhaps find a way to try all of them and see which one is more enjoyable to you.
Tae Bo is great cardio work. It might help some with flexibility, but it primarily focuses on getting your heart rate up.
You should probably do a combination of these exercises so that you are getting your cardio, strength, and flexibility workouts in.
· 10 years ago