Pilates is the ultimate full body workout for body fitness and health, practising Pilates regularly you will learn how to be disciplined, patient and work with your core to empower your movements. Pilates is accessible for everyone no matter what your level and requires minimal investment to get started. The only concern is that once you start learning Pilates that you won’t be able to stop.

Pilates Vs Yoga: The Differences

The Pilates exercise program was invented by Joseph Pilates while he was in a First World War detainment camp. His focus was to relax the muscles and then strengthen them as well as improving the core area. In Pilates, the core body (powerhouse) is the centre of strength to empower all movement within the practice. While Pilates was influenced in part by Yoga, it has its own very defined style and is an exercise in its own right.

Yoga was created around 5,000 years ago in India and heavily focuses on uniting the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is not just an exercise, yoga is a lifestyle and although yoga postures or asanas are focused on training the body. This is only 1 of the limbs of the philosophy.

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Pilates was influenced in part by Yoga
Yoga was created around 5,000 years ago in India and heavily focuses on uniting the mind, body and spirit. Photo Source: Unsplash

The Benefits Of Pilates Vs Yoga

There are lots of benefits of Pilates training including endurance, good posture, proper breathing, whole toned body, melts belly fat to flatten the stomach and much more.

  • Pilates requires practitioners to wear form-fitting clothing as alignment is essential and must be precise in all practises.
  • Pilates is a low impact resistance fitness system that focuses on core muscles and supporting the spine.
  • It promotes mind-body connection within the practise
  • Focuses on whole body conditioning and toning in gentle and in flow movements
  • Focus on precision and efficiently forming postures
  • Uses mat and apparatus for workouts
  • Great for leaner abdominal muscles and toning the body
  • Breathing through the nose and mouth is encouraged

A Yoga asana workout focuses the on gaining flexibility within the mind and body. There are an incredible amount of benefits from practising yoga.

  • Aims to unite mental, physical and spiritual wellness
  • A lifestyle with an aspect of exercise
  • Yoga utilises isometric exercises (static poses) to strengthen the body
  • Adds emphasis to building flexibility and energy
  • A practitioner will wear loose flowing clothing for freedom of movement
  • You only need a mat to practise
  • Breathing through the nose is encouraged
  • Focusing on internal awareness and presence in your body
  • Great for stress relief and flexibility

While there are slight differences between Pilates and Yoga, the main difference is the fact that Yoga is a lifestyle. As you can see the differences are very minor and the preference over which to practise really will fall down to a personal choice depending on your fitness goals and life choices.

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Basic Pilates Equipment Needed For Your Pilates Classes
Wear comfortable form-fitting clothing so that the Pilates instructor can see if your alignment is correct. Photo Source: Unsplash

How Is A Pilates Class Organized?

Going to your first Pilates workout can be nerve-racking if you don’t know what to expect. It is a full body work out that creates a balanced body and total body awareness. As well as better posture, lower stress levels, full body toning, reduced body weight among other things. I have listed everything that you need to know about preparing for your first class and what to do after your first class.

Basic Pilates Equipment Needed For Your Pilates Classes

  • You will need a good Pilates mat or yoga mat, this will help with 3 things. It cushions the floor, stops you from slipping and help to define your work out area which also helps with coordination.
  • You will need a bottle, to carry some water and keep yourself hydrated
  • Some good quality work out gear, it is advisable to wear form-fitting clothing so that the pilate instructor can see if your alignment is correct and also wearing long leggings are preferred to shorts as shorts tend to ride up.

*Studios often provide any specialist equipment, such as the Pilates reformer that might be needed.

Before Your Pilates Class

When booking your class be sure to ask the receptionist what kind of Pilates class it is. There are different forms of Pilates, and they are all run in slightly different ways as well as each studio also having their own rules and styles of teaching.

During your Pilates Class

Make sure you arrive at the class early so that you can get a space. If you are a beginner make sure to let the teacher know at some point and also follow the modifications if you are struggling. Pilates although slow and controlled in its movement can be tough work. You are likely to feel this within the class while doing the poses. Try your best to go as far as you can without being too concerned about what everyone around you is doing.

After your Pilates Class

Make sure to hydrate properly after class, to replenish any lost nutrients and water. If you find that your body has a few aches and pains for a few days after practising this is normal and very positive sign as it means that your muscles have responded well to the session.

How Do I Choose A Pilates Class

When selecting a Pilates class for yourself, it is essential to keep a few things at the forefront of your mind. You should have an idea about the workout goals that you have, and you should know what motivates you. There are lots of different styles of Pilates exercises, and you can practice in many different places.

It would be great if you could try a few classes with different styles and see how you feel afterwards. Understand that it is essential to choose a class because of how you feel when you are practising. If you choose a fitness class that you like you are more likely to dedicate yourself to regular practice. When you enjoy it, then it will no longer be a chore.

If you want to start yoga Google "yoga classes near me".

The 6 main styles of the Pilates Method.

  1. Classical Pilates

This is the style created by Joseph Pilates, the Classical style of Pilates focuses on increasing core strength, breathing and body-mind awareness.

  1. Polestar Pilates

Polestar Pilates specialises personalisation to help with meeting your goals, strengthen your body, healing of injuries and rehabilitation.

  1. Stott Pilates

Stott Pilates specialises in posture and realigning the spine.

  1. Group Reformer Pilates

This style uses a machine called a reformer, which manipulates the body and aids flexibility.

  1. Clinical Pilates

This style is a blend of Physiotherapy and Pilates, focused on working on specific areas of the body, and It is not concerned about balancing the mind.

  1. Contemporary Studio Pilates

Similar to Classical Pilates, Contemporary Pilates shares many of the same moves and is run in a studio environment.

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It is a full body work out that creates a balanced body
Pilates is great for a better posture, lower stress levels, full body toning, reduced body weight among other things. Photo Source: Unsplash

Where To Learn Pilates

  1. Group Classes

This is the class that you can find in your gym or local studio. You have lots of opportunities to meet people and get instructor feedback.

  1. Private Pilates Instructor

Having the one on one full attention of a Pilates instructor will be invaluable to advance your Pilates practise.

 Pilates Intensives And Retreats

This is a great way to fast track your commitment and interest in Pilates. You will be able to ask questions and get personalised support.

  1. Pilates DVD

Pilates DVD’s are great for practising at home and are very cost effective compared to live classes.

  1. Pilates Training Online

Private live online classes of Pilates (Paid) or Pilates videos on YouTube and other sites (Free) are both excellent ways to fast-track the benefits of regular Pilates practice.

 How Much Do Pilates Classes Cost?

There are lots of styles of Pilates available, and all of them come with different price points.

  1. Classical Pilates classes are most often practised at the gym or Pilates studio. These group classes cost around £15 - £20 per class. Because gyms often offer Pilates classes, they may not add any cost to your membership. Also if you don’t have a gym membership, you may be able to buy a day pass which gives cheap access to the class.
  2. Clinical Pilates has quite a high price point because they are also This style costs from £55 for 30 minutes
  3. Stott Pilates is a type of contemporary Pilates this style can cost in the range of £20 per class.
  4. Polestar Pilates is a type of contemporary Pilates too, and this style can cost in the range of £20 per class.
  5. Reformer Pilates focuses on using machines to aid the Pilates practice, Sessions start around £45 per session.
  6. Pilates retreats are a great way to follow an intensive experience and get a holiday at the same time. Prices are in the range of £2,000 for 7 days and usually are all inclusive with classes, and personal support included.
  7. Pre-recorded Pilates Fitness Classes are a great way to learn at home without any financial outlay. The quality of the videos are fantastic and you can even find a video for any area of your body that you would like to focus on. The best thing about this is that it is completely ‘free’.
  8. Private Pilates classes with an online personal trainer are a great way to get support and the full attention of the instructor. 1 to 1 Classes online cost less than 1on 1 classes face to face, and you still get all of the benefits. Pilates Prices start around £35 per session

The price to start practising Pilates is quite low, and you don’t need much equipment to get a started. The most important thing to bring to any Pilates class is a yoga mat, yourself wearing comfortable clothing and an open mind.

If you would like to learn Pilates and think that it sounds like a fun body workout. Then why not search for beginners Pilates classes near you, right now and get on to the path to better health today.

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