Many people ask me what the difference is between yoga and Pilates. Yoga is a holistic discipline that has been around for at least 3,000 years and was developed in Ancient India. Pilates, however, is a specific system that was devised by a German anatomist, Joseph Pilates.I think the biggest difference is that yoga is more than just exercise. It’s a lifestyle. It works to condition your mind and spirit, not just your body. I know from experience that anyone new to yoga will find that it is not exactly what you may think it is.
YOGA: Most people begin doing yoga wanting to improve their physical body. What they don’t realize is that you will come away from a class feeling the positive affect that it has on your mood and your mind.
The very act of linking breath to movement ,creating much needed space in the body by doing so, gives us a feeling of freedom and surrendering.
There is something a bit mystical about it . It’s not something you can put your finger on and until you experience it, you won’t understand fully what I mean by that. It is this factor which keeps people coming back for more. Of course, your experience may vary depending on who your teacher is and the style of yoga you choose. You should try as many different classes as you can to find a class and teacher that suits you. Some prefer the asana practices while others may veer towards mindfulness and enjoy the Pranayama and meditation, touching on the history and philosophy of yoga. Yoga comes in different forms. Some practices are more challenging than others. For example, Yin and restorative if you fancy taking a relaxing class, Ashtanga or vinyasa flow if you have more energy. Perhaps you like the idea of some meditation or breath practice (Pranayama)Your choice but why not give them both a chance? Depending on your mood, one may suit you more than the other. I am always open to requests, so just drop me a line if you want to try something in particular. There is something for everybody, If you aren’t quite sure, why not try the Gentle Yoga class on a Sunday evening. The first class is on 31st January- take a look at the schedule in sessions
PILATES: I started doing Pilates postnatally. Every new mum wants their tummies to return to being flatter, to strengthen their pelvic floor and to regain their waistlines which have given in to elasticated waistbands and longline tops. The main thing to note about Pilates is that it works on the body as a whole. No body part works in isolation. Yes, we want that flat stomach but we also want strong and lean arms, legs and backs. Pilates can strengthen and lengthen your muscles, creating long, lean muscles and not bulky ones.
There is now a trend toward ‘fitness Pilates’. I personally don’t like the term but I think it exists to differentiate between classical Pilates as developed by Joseph and another form which uses Pilates as a basis but adds a few other general fitness moves. This has become more popular in gym environments.
In my mind, yoga and Pilates work perfectly together but I am aware that some of you are dedicated yogis only while others are Pilates fans.