Pilates or Yoga?
Through the body work I offer I often recommend clients to take up either pilates or yoga to help with stiff muscles, misalignment of joints, shallow breathing patterns and for overall general wellness and wellbeing.
One question I often get asked is which method is best for the individual and often there is confusion to what is the difference between the two methods.
I find the best way of explaining the differences is that the ultimate goal of Pilates is about movement and good movement patterns, there are never a held poses and alignment is key. Yoga on the other hand is generally the practise of being still and to hold the 'poses' and to meditate, with a much more spiritual focus.
Joseph Pilates created exercises from a combination of techniques from yoga, gymnastics, skiing, self defence, dance, circus and weight training. Yoga originated in ancient India and the name can be found in some of India's earliest known scripts. A practise used to 'reach a higher level of being' a kind of mind training with many health benefits.
So how do you know which method is best suited to you ?... I would say give them both a go and see which one your body responds best to, like with anything you will need at few sessions to learn the main principle techniques. Also many people myself included can enjoy doing both methods, there is no rule book to say you must stay inclusive to one or the other.
The great thing is how your body will feel after just a few weeks of practising, with a stronger core, better overall posture and less aches and pains. As Joseph said himself : 'if your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30 you are old, if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young'.