Form Blog

YOGA OR PILATES

23 / Feb / 2017

Gone are the days where we are conditioned to opt for only one method of training. It used to feel almost like "cheating" if you dared incorporate 2 different disciplines/practices into your life at the same time. I breathe a sigh of relief, as time has moved on and there is a much greater level of understanding as to the physiological and psychological benefits of mixing things up!

I speak as a Pilates practitioner and teacher with years of experience behind me which inspired me to open my fitness studio FORM in Notting Hill. My love and passion for Pilates culminated in my creating a fresh new workout called METcore Pilates. It is a Pilates based class with little yoga influence incorporated in the warm up and cool down phases of the class.

My yogic experience is not particularly extensive and of course there are numerous branches of yoga that are practiced around the world. I have studied Kundalini, Yin and Ashtanga and they are all very different practices within the umbrella of yoga, and certainly vastly different to Pilates.

Yoga & Pilates often get lumped in the same category but are not always easily differentiated. Albeit very different, they are EQUALLY BENEFICIAL and I recommend them for different reasons.

Mind & Body

 

Yoga is a therapeutic practice that is used to unite the mind, body and spirit. I love that yoga has a spiritual and meditative component, which Pilates does not have. It really helps me to centre myself and energise my mind for the stresses of modern living. Yoga is often used to heal the body and provide mental harmony by improving flexibility and promoting relaxation. The movements in Yoga are called poses as opposed to exercises in Pilates.


Whilst in Pilates, the core focus, is in fact, the CORE, all the Pilates movements are initiated from the core, or POWERHOUSE, as Joseph Pilates names this region of the body. Developing strength in the core is essential to Pilates. That's what I love about Pilates it's helps so many of my clients overcome back pain, improve balance and encourage correct posture. As well as using body weight exercises, Pilates utilises resistance machines (reformer, MOTR, chairs and cadillacs) and other equipment (Pilates rings and balls) to improve the alignment and strength of the body. While Yoga practice predominantly uses body weight (holding static poses) and doesn't utilise any form of resistance equipment.

Breathing

Breathing plays an integral role in both Yoga & Pilates, but the breathing techniques are slightly different. Yoga encourages breathing for relaxation purposes. Throughout the routine, in Yoga it is important to continuously concentrate on how the breath is being employed. Sending breath to areas that might be holding stress can help to relax these muscle groups in the body and assist in holding ones pose deeper and longer. The breathing technique in Yoga is called Pranayama. The benefits of Pranayama are below.

Reduced anxiety and depression

Lower/stabilized blood pressure

Increased energy levels

Muscle relaxation

Decreased feelings of stress and feeling overwhelmed

In Pilates, the breath is used more as a technique in order to activate the core muscles, and provide the body with energy in order to perform the exercises effectively and thus capitalise on the efficacy of the movements. Pilates breathing uses an inhale through the nose to help filter the air like yoga, but instead of a calm, slow exhale, the focus is on a strong forced exhale. The goal is to empty the lungs as much as possible, (and briskly) so you have the opportunity to take in as much fresh oxygen on our next breath to help nourish our cells, and feed our brain and body. Performed correctly, Pilates breathing helps lengthen the spine, AND deepens core support. It helps facilitate better movement to bend the spine forwards, backwards, sideways, and to twist. It helps set the ribcage and upper back in an optimal position for healthy shoulder mechanics, and the lift of the spine and support of the core from both the inhale and exhale helps lift the torso up off the legs for healthy hip mechanics.

Plus for Yoga 

The classical techniques of yoga date back more than 5,000 years. The practice of yoga encourages effort, intelligence, accuracy, thoroughness, commitment and dedication. The word yoga means ‘to join or yoke together’. It brings your body and mind together, and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation. Yoga is a renowned antidote to stress. Over time, yoga practitioners report lower levels of stress, and increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing. This is because concentrating on the postures and the breath acts as a form of meditation. There are many different varieties of yoga, each with a slightly different slant, to suit most preferences. The most popular are Hatha, Bikram, Iyengar and Vinyasa yoga.

Plus for Pilates 

Pilates (or the Pilates method) is a series of about 500 exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. Pilates is results driven in terms of strengthening the body and is used as a preventative and rehabilitative practice. Pilates plays an integral roll in many professional dancers and sportsmen's life's. For example both Andy Murray and Christian Ronaldo are both strong advocates of Pilates.

FORM's Pilates inspired classes (our award winning METcore and PURE) are offered daily from 6 30am to 9pm Monday-Sunday and Yoga Sunday evenings at 6 15 and 7 30pm. Please refer to the website to book.

Thank you and Namaste!

Author: FORM Founder Elissa Elhadj


 


 

 

 


 

 

 

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How do I book my first class?

To get started all you need to do is take a few moments to sign up to create your online account. Once that’s all set up you’re ready to get booking your first METcore class! You can peruse our online schedule and book your classes up to 8-weeks in advance. Alternatively, you can always email us at hello@formstudios.co.uk or pop by to make your booking.

We offer classes from 06.30am to 8pm Monday - Friday and from 9am to 5pm Saturday - Sunday.

How fit do I need to be?

Our classes are small (just 8 per class) and suitable for all levels of fitness - our instructors are dedicated to working each and every one of our clients to their maximum and offer modifications wherever necessary, for clients who may be struggling or those who need a greater challenge.

How often should I come?

We suggest starting out with 2 classes a week and as your fitness levels increase, building this up to 3-4 times per week from there.

What do I need to wear?

We recommend sporting a tank or t-shirt on top and leggings or sweat pants on the bottom. Anything you can move comfortably (and get your sweat on) in!  No trainers required.  It’s bare feet or ToeSox - which we sell if you should need a pair.

What do I need to bring?

No need to bring anything but your “ready to workout” self!

We sell bottled water and cold pressed drinks for your refreshment during and after class. We also provide changing and shower facilities, with complimentary towels and products for you use.  * All clients are required to wear grippy/pilates socks and you will not be permitted to train without grippy/pilates socks - we sell a wide range of Tox Sox at the studio should you forget to bring a pair *  

When are your classes?

We offer classes from 06.30am to 8pm Monday - Friday and from 9am to 5pm Saturday - Sunday. You can peruse our online schedule and book your classes up to 8-weeks in advance. Alternatively, you can always email us at hello@formstudios.co.uk or pop by to make your booking. 

To get started all you need to do is take a few moments to sign up to create your online account. Once that’s all set up your'e ready to get booking your first class!

 What if I need to cancel my class ? 

Should you wish to cancel or reschedule your session please be aware that we operate a 24-hour cancelation policy. We are unable to reaccredit for class cancellations made inside 24-hours and this also applies to first class free credits.

Any tips for my first class?

You might like to have a light pre-workout snack around 30-40 minutes before your workout. Good light snack options - half a banana, a handful of almonds or a couple of apple wedges with almond butter.

We recommend you arrive 10-15 minutes before your first class so that we familiarise yourself with the studio and we can introduce you to the equipment before we get started.  

Be prepared to sweat and work out hard but do keep in mind that it’s your first class and it’s going to be particularly challenging as you and your body are new to this class. 

So go easy on yourself and don’t feel defeated.  It does get easier and you will get results - fast!

 

p.s -don't forget to bring grippy/pilates socks as you will not be permitted to train without them - we sell a wide range of Tox Sox at the studio should you forget to bring a pair with you.

 

Can I train 1-2-1 at Form Studio?

Absolutely -  we have a variety of personal training options available.  Contact us on hello@formstudios.co.uk to discuss your requirements and to find the best option for you.

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NEW CLIENT OFFER 2 CLASSES FOR £25.00

To get started all you need to do is take a few moments to sign up to create your online account. Once that’s all set up you’re ready to get booking your first class. You can peruse our online schedule and book your classes up to 8-weeks in advance. Alternatively, you can always email us at hello@formstudios.co.uk or pop by to make your booking.

 

We offer classes from 6.30am to 8.00pm Monday - Friday and 8am to 6pm Saturday - Sunday.
 

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