Updated: Nov 14
Which class is right for you?
This is a question I get asked a lot. As a professional Yoga teacher of 16 years and Pilates teacher for almost 15 years. Both are excellent exercise modalities it just comes down to personal choice and where you are today with your body.
So I decided to put together a short 3 minute read to help you decide where to start.
I really don't have a favorite and it really comes down to your own preference. But here are a few of the differences to help you make an informed choice.
Pilates was designed by the late Joseph H. Pilates a German immigrant to the USA. Who suffered from many health problems as a child. But went on to become a champion athlete. His method incorporates Yoga Asanas, gymnastics, and strength training exercises he designed to rehabilitate himself. Then passed his system on to ballet dancers and athletes in New York, using various equipment and his own body weight. It became very popular and spread worldwide from there.
My Pilates Matwork classes are based on classical Pilates exercises modified so they are accessible to everyone. We use Yoga mats, Pilates balls, Dynobands and Pilates Magic Circles to help you find your core muscles and improve your strength flexibility and posture. A great class to help you recover from a back or joint injury as it has absolutely NO IMPACT. Many people of all ages and walks of life get on well with Pilates as it's non competitive and you work at your own pace and ability. It respects boundaries in your range of motion and is very safe for most people. So long as you are mindful and respectful of where you are today.
Yoga is a wonderful exploration on breathe and movement.
There are many difference types of Yoga class so it's important to decide what you want from the class before you attend. The classical Yoga is called Hatha Yoga. And comes from the ancient Yogis of India. They believed practicing Yoga Asanas of Postures opened the Chakras and energy flowing up and down the spine. And was a perfect way to settle the body and mind before practicing Meditation.
Today in modern society our Yoga classes are have more focus on the physical than spiritual benefits. But a very important part of Hatha Yoga is the practice of proper breathing. This will completely change your Yoga experience. So find a teacher like myself who will teach you proper breathing techniques such as abdominal and full yogic breathe. Then learn the basic Yoga postures combined with proper yogic breathe. There is nothing like it.
Who can benefit from Yoga? Everyone. But if you suffer from anxiety or hold tension in your body this is a particularly good class for you. As we spend time learning to relax and let go. Finished with a wonderful relaxation / meditation set to calming music and singing bowls. If you suffer poor sleep and need to learn how to relax then Hatha Yoga is for you. The physical benefits to Yoga practice are also huge. Most notably better balance and flexibility. The many varied postures practiced in sequence also improves core strength and posture. If you have any injuries or haven't exercised in a while start with a beginners class with an experienced teacher who can give you modifications when needed. And enjoy the journey to better health.
I hope reading this blog has helped you understand more about Yoga and Pilates. If you live in the Surrey or East Hampshire area come and join me for a class. I look forward to seeing you on the mat.
Namaste (the light in me bows to the light in you)
Yoga & Pilates Teacher
Yoga & Pilates Live
About the author
You can find Amanda's bio on the main page of this website.