The difference between Yoga & Pilates!

So, what is the difference between Yoga & Pilates…

Are you confused about the differences between Yoga & Pilates?  You are not alone!  I get asked this question many times, as we offer both types of classes at Artemis Wellbeing Yoga & Pilates studios.

If you are starting out on your journey into either Yoga or Pilates, the main thing to note is that both are a fantastic way of developing strength and flexibility in a safe and controlled manner.

In many cases, we turn to Yoga or Pilates initially for injury management / prevention or stress management.  The connection between mind & body is intrinsic and as such, the ability to create movement in a mindful way, will lead to a much safer and effective outcome both physically and mentally.  Both types of classes will teach and encourage breath control, which support the mind/body connection greatly.

Pilates is generally focused on ‘core’ strength i.e. deep stabilizing muscles that encase the spine, hips and shoulders. Focusing strength in these areas helps to build a strong muscular ‘frame’ around our precious joints, reducing unnecessary wear & tear of our joints. Some classes will use equipment to help to increase strength and pelvic stability.  As a result of strengthening muscles around the spine, hips and shoulders, you will also notice increased body tone…and, as there is a great focus on ‘posture’ and ‘alignment’ during Pilates classes, you will quickly notice that you stand taller and straighter! Pilates also uses stretching exercises that promote flexibility in the legs, back, chest and shoulders.  Working on the basis that all movements originate from the centre of the body, controlled and precise movements will enable a safe flow of movement in everyday life.  Finally, Pilates teaches ‘spinal articulation’ i.e. controlled movement through the spine that helps to keep our spines mobile and free of tension.

At a physical level, Yoga tends to be associated more with flexibility and relaxation, due to its static stretching and relaxation techniques.  It is however, a fantastic way of building strength around the body for injury prevention or rehabilitation.  Yoga is a philosophy and way of life that promotes balance of mind, body and spirit, and the physical practice of Yoga (asana) is only one part of Yoga.  As a physical practice, Yoga asana is an extremely safe and effective way of counter-acting the increased impact of pro-longed sitting & driving, incorporating the controlled use of breathing to ensure that you are fully aware of your body’s position, limitations and ability to strengthen/lengthen in a safe way. Also except to spend time on balancing poses, which help to prevent falls and to improve mis-alignment issues in the body.  Breathing practice (Pranayama) is taught in most Yoga classes, helping to slow our minds and bodies down and most classes will finish with a relaxation (sometimes guided), to allow the body and mind to fully relax.

We offer a variety of classes at our Artemis Wellbeing studios, designed for all levels and abilities. If you are unsure which class to try…try a few different ones until you find the one that best suits your needs! Or get in touch and we can offer you guidance based upon your individual physical or mental needs.  Visit http://www.artemiswellbeing.co.uk for our full timetable.

Di xx