Yoga and Pilates are two of the most popular exercise classes in the UK, and with good reason.
Both practices promote general wellness, are safe and easy to learn and you can go at your own pace – and we practice both (in the Pai HQ kitchen!) every Tuesday morning.
Find out how they differ and why our most regular attendees have a favourite…
Beyond the physical aspect of the exercise, I find that doing yoga makes me really calm and focused. I love running, but I’m lazy and don’t stretch enough. Yoga helps to ease my tired muscles in a more natural way than traditional static stretching.” – Mairi, Research Assistant
Yoga has been practised for thousands of years in Hindu and Buddhist cultures.
In its oldest form, it was used to enhance consciousness and knowledge of the world around us, but over the centuries different techniques were created to focus on strength, meditation and balance.
Most yoga classes will combine some gentle stretching with breathing exercises and a variety of positions, which are designed to improve core strength and flexibility.
If you’ve not tried it before, your first class can be a bit intense, but stick with it and you’ll become a convert.
I like yoga because it’s a combination of strength and stretch that I find really beneficial – and it’s shown me I’m more focused and flexible than I thought! ” – Jeanne-Marie, Cosmetic Chemist
I’m quite inherently lazy, so I appreciate the simplicity of a non-strenuous & time-efficient Pilates workout that you can still really feel the next day.” – Lucy, Web Designer
By contrast, Pilates is a reasonably new invention. Joseph Pilates, a German gymnast and bodybuilder created it, whilst he was interned in Britain during the First World War.
After the war, his fellow POWs emerged fitter and stronger than before and Joseph Pilates spent the rest of his life travelling the world, teaching his techniques to professional athletes and dancers.
Unlike yoga, Pilates involves resistance training and focuses more on abdominal and lower back strength. It requires intense concentration and precision, which has the happy side effect of making each session fly by!
I’m a massive fan of Pilates! For someone who is not blessed with flexible limbs, Pilates is something that I’ve grown to love. I’ve seen a massive improvement in my posture.” – Sophie, Executive Assitant
Mind, body and skin
If you take part in either yoga or Pilates on a regular basis, you’ll soon notice a difference in your fitness levels.
But one of the most addictive qualities of yoga and Pilates is the sense of wellness and relaxation that you feel afterwards.
Both practices encourage you to focus on your breathing and stretching, so you’re getting a meditative effect from each session without even realising it. And this also lowers your stress levels, which can be a major cause of breakouts and skin irritation.
What’s more, the movements and exercise of both Pilates and yoga can help boost circulation, leaving your skin with a long-lasting glow that you can’t get from a bottle!
Pilates for strength, toning & abs. Plus increases body awareness e.g. holding muscles correctly. Yoga for escapism, toning, stretching & relaxation. Pilates has helped my yoga practice & yogi flexibility has helped my pilates!” -Flo, PR Manager