So Which One Should YOU Do?
First lets work out what the key differences (and similarities) are.
If you go to a yoga class you will do some exercises that you find in a Pilates class AND vice versa. There is an overlap in some areas.
Both classes will help with relaxation. Both will help with flexibility and both will help improve strength and posture. Both claim to be suitable for people of all ages and all abilities, so what’s the difference!?
In Yoga you will work through a sequence of poses with a focus on breathing and depending on the class or teacher there can be an element of spiritualism (this depends on the teacher and their focus). The Poses will be quite free moving without having an emphasis on full body movements and flexibility challenges. Yoga in general will work more on flexibility and relaxation.
Pilates will also help with flexibility however there is a much more focused approach on learning how your body moves and at times learning how we can move more efficiently – or closer to how we were designed to move! From our perspective we often have clients coming through rehab for an injury NEED to learn to use these more efficient movement strategies in order to help their recovery.
For example you will learn how hip movements will influence your lower back and you will learn and master how to control these areas in ways you previously were unable. These simple principles help create change in how the body works and we often see great improvements in their back/hip/shoulder/neck pain – by targeting little muscles with specific movements you will “wake up” and “switch on” muscles that had otherwise been forgotten about.
Pilates will help strengthening key muscles that often get forgotten about. Even better you will see improvements and in tone and strength of the big muscles as well! As a general rule of thumb, Pilates will focus more on movement control, body awareness and learning how to create stability through your movement. You will be challenged to move differently through your body – often learning new ways of movement that reduce your aches and pains. Yoga will typically encourage a go with the flow mentality which can lead to you continuing to move in the ways that may be causing your problem.
Our physios at Causeway Physio & Pilates find this is the key difference when it comes to pain:
“Yoga type stretches can be beneficial to improve flexibility which can often help with relieving pain but often that is only in the short term. Our Physios are constantly using Pilates exercises as part of rehabilitation programs in order to improve and RESTORE how someone moves. This why Pilates is SO beneficial to pretty much anyone – we all have those neglected areas that when we switch on we will improve how we feel to day or even improve our sporting performance”.
And the winner is…..
Well Both! Both bring great elements of movement however depending on your body and your needs you might want to consider one over the other. Remember that Movement is better than No movement.
If you would like to find out if the strengthening benefits found in Pilates could be of benefit to you then the best way to find out is to come to one of our FREE TASTER PILATES classes and try it for yourself.
Chat to one of our instructors and find out how Pilates could help improve your physical health, help reduce stress and build a stronger body that copes with day to day life without the niggles. Click here to contact us and reserve your place on our next FREE TASTER CLASS.
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