I wanted to address this for awhile, what the difference is between Yoga and Pilates first of all and secondly what one suits you.
Yoga: Yoga is the general name for a number of different yoga disciplines and practices which derived from the religions and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The most common and practiced form of yoga ‘Hatha Yoga’ is a discipline and concentration of the mind focusing on health and purity of the body and mind as one through meditation and various yoga positions.
Now there are as I said various different types of yoga:
Hatha– A lot of breath work, good for beginners of yoga or those that are experiencing and want to alleviate anxiety, stress, depression, muscle tightness/soreness, poor circulation, poor sleeping or just want to feel great in general.
Vinyasa– More movement than Hatha and you will work the body a little more intensely but still in keeping with the same root principles of hatha yoga.
Kundalini– Focused more on the lower regions of the body, getting into your root energy, more core and upper thigh work.
Ashtangaor Power Yoga – requires constant movement and is a little more demanding physically so more geared to those that have been practicing yoga awhile and are physically fit to hold muscle demanding poses.
Iyengar – Using more props, blocks..straps…cushions etc this is geared more towards healing ailments of the body through yoga poses.
Anusara – Focused more on Heart poses, so focusing students on using the poses to see healing light inside themselves and bring out your potential. Good for those new to yoga.
Restorative– This is great for those that need to wind down after a hard day. It is focused on using the breath and meditation to relax the body and mind and bring them back to balance, very relaxed class, excellent for cleansing the mind of stress or anxiety.
Bikram or Hot Yoga – This is 26 yoga poses only that is practiced in a room at 40 degrees heat and 40% humidity. It is quite a disciplined class that requires a lot of concentration. It is a hard class at the start and physically demanding as you sweat A LOT. It is good for perfecting poses and burning calories (added benefit) but don’t over stretch in the false heat, you may do more damage. If you do try this class, NOTE: the feeling of nausea and fainting is normal because of the intensity with heat, so come out of the pose and lay on the floor until the feeling has passed and come up gently.
So whether you are at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level, there are many different styles of yoga out there for everyone. Have fun with yoga, try some out and see what you like, just because everyone else in the class may look like pro’s or look like they adore the class doesn’t mean you have to be a natural or pro or feel the same way. Yoga is all about you in your mind and body and the connection between the two. I myself right now am practicing Hatha, Yin and Restorative and find them SOO beneficial for my mind and body. I have taken Bikram classes and found them beneficial but did not draw me back so I left it be.
Pilates: Pilates was developed by a gymnast named Joseph Pilates and is a body conditioning routine that helps build flexibility and long, lean muscles, strength and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing to relieve stress and allow adequate oxygen flow to muscles, developing a strong core or center (tones abdominals while strengthening the back), and improving coordination and balance.
Unlike yoga there is not much types of Pilates but there are different levels, beginners, intermediate and advanced where the movements and exercises get more difficult and the adaptations become more intense and your practice becomes more skilled. Similar to yoga though Pilates concentrates on a particular breathing technique used to cleanse the body and use’s breathing to enhance the ability in a movement/exercise.
I hope the definition I have described of the two has dispelled some idea’s that these two are the ‘same’ or misconceived idea’s you may have had of them.
Yogalates or Yogilates: This is a combination of the two. It incorporates the mat work of Pilates but with the soothing breathing and relaxation poses of Hatha Yoga. It is a calming yet still challenging class that you if you enjoy both yoga and pilates want to incorporate it all in one class. Some hard core yogi’s may say that this is not a correct practice as you are breaking the chain of proper yoga concentration with pilates but I say to those people relax guys……people will find what they enjoy and works for them and should be allowed express it freely J.
Either way I think both of these practices are great for our bodies and minds and yoga exceptionally good for those that have hectic or stressful lives or those that suffer from any form of anxiety. So it is up to you which one you choose and suits you and your lifestyle.
NOTE: If anyone of you peeps in Dublin 15 are looking for a pilates instructor, my sister is a pilates teacher and has 2 classes a week. Message me for deets 🙂