Pilates or Yoga? Which is for you?

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At Alive we love both and believe Pilates and Yoga share many similarities while also challenging us in different ways.

There are many opinions regarding which is best for your body and a lot will depend on who you ask and which discipline they are most passionate about. Our modern sedentary lifestyle can have a serious impact on our postural muscles causing issues with mobility, breathing and general day to day function. Starting a program which includes Pilates and Yoga can offer us some almost immediate benefits including awareness and correct use of our breath to better use our postural muscles particularly during exercise. We also learn how to move with an improved alignment and recruitment of correct muscles which can then assist with reducing pain, inflammation and tension.

Most people generally gravitate to Pilates to ‘strengthen core’, in the belief that a few key Pilates exercises will build their core muscles quickly and easily while fixing the lower back problem nursed for a long time!

Yoga has long had the reputation of bendy pretztel twisting types of poses and most people think they need Yoga to ‘improve flexibility by getting a good stretch’.

While neither of the above is wrong, there is so much more to be gained by venturing into both styles of movement.

Strengthening core muscles in Pilates will give you greater function and ability to become more flexible in Yoga. The balance and twisting in Yoga will enable you to build a stronger and deeper Pilates practice. For those who only practice Yoga and focus on flexibility without strength, they perhaps risk injury while those who continue to build strength without flexibility can often set themselves up for problems in mobility and function.

It’s all about balance while practicing what you enjoy (with a healthy sprinkle of what we need to do!)

Both Yoga & Pilates encourage attention to breathing and alignment of the body. Breathing is vital to getting oxygen in to the body (pretty important!) and while exercising, correct breathing can help performance, prevent injury, discomfort and of course our breath will give us an indication of how much we are exerting ourselves. Correct breathing will also facilitate the activation of core muscles helping build that strength many of us are seeking. A focus on the breath will help calm the mind and body helping us to relieve stress and anxiety, releasing tension from the muscles and giving us that overall feeling of peace and harmony.

So which should you choose- Pilates or Yoga?

We suggest both are beneficial to our health and wellbeing and provide a great compliment to other activities we choose to do; running, walking, swimming, gardening, sports, playing with the kids. Finding a closer connection with mind and body can really help us to be calmer, less stressed and a whole heap happier!!

Choose an Introduction Offer to get started and experience Yoga & Pilates.

Lauren Angel