Pilates & Yoga

We are often asked what the difference is between Pilates and Yoga. A simple answer would be that Pilates focuses more on strengthening, and Yoga more on stretching. The breath is important to both.

Yoga does have strengthening components. Chair pose and Plank would be more at the pure strengthening end of the scale, however in many poses the strengthening is often part of a stretching or balancing pose.

Pilates looks at strengthening individual muscles in isolation as much as possible. Specifically, it focuses on the stabilising muscles, especially those that tend to get a bit lazy with our modern seated lifestyles.

Pilates should start with your core - the muscles that keep your abdominal organs off the ground. Specifically looking first at your pelvic floor and the Transverse Abdominus (TA). We focus on these first as they become little used in our modern lives as we use our lower backs or shoulders and necks to hold ourselves stable, instead of the core. Any wonder we all have tight shoulders and sore necks!!

Pilates would then look at also strengthening the muscles around the side of the abdomen (the obliques), and then other muscles that may be weak in the population or in individuals: the glutes, maybe adductors, shoulder blade stabilisers and legs.

Yes, the legs. Not individual or small stabilising muscles, but still important. Generally, we know how to lift properly due to all the OH&S training we've had over the years, but so many of us do not have strong legs. So, even if we do lift with proper technique, we can hurt our backs because our legs do not have strength to help, so the lower back takes over.

Our classes would be considered pre-beginner to beginner as we would like to ensure everyone has the correct techniques and is using the right muscles. During class we always check that you are NOT using other muscles to compensate. My biggest challenge when I first started the classes was turning off my neck muscles. It takes time, but it can be done.

At the end of each Pilates class we always stretch, as stretching is often neglected but very important for maintaining muscle and joint health.

Come along to give it a go. Contact Sam 0412 515 961 for details or see the timetable on the Yoga page