It is surprising how often I am asked 'what is the difference between Yoga and Pilates'? I have answered this question in a previous blog: What is the difference between yoga and Pilates?
I am also asked, ‘which one do you prefer’? ‘Which one would be best for me’?
These questions keep coming up so I thought I would write more; this seems to be a subject so many people are interested in.
I feel blessed to teach both Yoga and Pilates and honestly cannot say which I prefer. In some ways they are very similar and in other ways they are poles apart.
I am asked which is best for beginners, which is easier? Again an impossible question to answer. Both can be immensely challenging and equally gentle. They are both achievable, rewarding and fulfilling.
My advice is firstly to ask yourself why you want to learn Yoga or Pilates?
I am going to list the most frequent answers to this question and hopefully help you see the ‘wood from the trees’.
I want to get fit (and lose weight) . . .
Both Yoga and Pilates have health related fitness benefits. If you want to enjoy life, be able to move, walk/run, sit and stand more comfortable; both will help mobilise joints improve movement and increase strength. If you are looking for a gentle approach to introduce some exercise into your daily routine, Yoga and Pilates are fabulous. If you are looking for cardiovascular fitness and to burn calories you will need to add other activities. As with eating, balance is key.
I want to stretch and improve my posture . . .
Both Yoga and Pilates will help work on improving posture. Many of the Pilates moves work on your centre (core) and movement of the spine. Yoga asana (poses) will take you through movement to open your chest, lengthen and rotate your spine. You will work through a full range of movement in Yoga and Pilate and may therefore improve your mobility and flexibility.
I want to improve my core strength . . .
Both Yoga and Pilates will help improve core strength. The main difference here is in Yoga you will often hold the pose and breath into the static posture whereas with Pilates you will continue to move. I would say that Pilates for beginners maybe better suited for this goal as many of the moves focus on the centre (your core muscles).
I want to do something to help with stress and to sleep better . . .
The mindful approach to both Yoga and Pilates should give you a better night’s sleep. This would however depend on the class you are attending! Some are better suited for restful sleep. Yoga Relaxation would be perfect or a beautiful slow and flowing Pilates class may work. This would be trial and error; one size will not fit all. I would recommend Yoga (Restorative Yoga, Yoga Meditation, Yoga Nidra or Yoga Relaxation) in the first instance or try a very gentle Pilates class.
I have a pre-existing medical condition and have been recommended . . .
Always follow the advice of a health care professional. A qualified teacher I will follow this up with the health care professional to ensure you are recommended the best option.
If you are interested in trying a Yoga or Pilates class and you are local to Hornchurch, contact me to discuss further. If you are not local, I hope you find the path that is right for you.
Business Owner and Fitness Professional
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