For the ultimate full body work out for your health and overall fitness; Pilates could be what you're looking for. Regularly practising Pilates will teach you discipline, patience and how to empower your core through moving your body. Anyone is able to do Pilates which makes it inclusive and accessible. Regardless of your current level Pilates it doesn't take much to get your started, and you may never be able to stop!
Yoga Vs Pilates: What's the Difference?
Joseph Pilates first developed the Pilates exercise program during his time in a detainment camp in the First World War. His goal was to ensure that the muscles of the body were strengthened and relaxed all whilst improving the body's core. The body core (powerhouse) is the strength centre which allows for empowered movement during the practice of Pilates. It is true that Pilates has influences from components of Yoga, however Pilates has it's own unique forms and techniques as an exercise independent of Yoga.
5,000 years ago in India Yoga was created, its main focus is uniting the body, spirit and mind. The practice of exercise is not merely an exercise, it is a way of life even though a number of asanas and postures are geared towards training your body. The philosophy in Yoga has 8 limbs, this part of Yoga is only one of them.
Learn more information regarding the key differences between yoga and pilates.
Yoga and Pilates Classes: What's the Difference?
The many benefits of Pilates include; improved posture, muscle tone, endurance, deep breathing and a focus on your physical and mental wellbeing.
- Pilates practitioners are required to wear clothes which are form-fitting; alignment must be precise which makes this essential during practice.
- The main focus of Pilates is supporting the spine and developing core muscles, it is a resistance fitness system which is low impact
- There is a focus on the mind-body connection during practise
- Pilates is a gentle flow movements which works to tone and condition the whole body
- Pilates values precision when forming postures
- A mat and other apparatus are used for workouts
- Good for beginners who want to tone their abdominal muscles
- There is a focus on breathing, using your mouth and nose is encouraged
During a Yoga workout, asanas focus on improving flexibility between and within the body and mind. The benefits of practising Yoga are extensive;
- The goal is to create a union between spiritual, physical and mental wellbeing
- It is a way of life with aspects of exercise
- Isometric exercises (static poses) are utilised in Yoga to improve strength in the body
- There is an emphasis on achieving flexibility and gaining energy
- Yoga practitioners wear clothes which are loose and flowing so there can be freedom of movement
- A mat is the only tool used to practise
- Using your nose to breathe is encouraged
- There is a focus on internal and external awareness of your body
- Yoga is good for flexibility and stress relief
There a number of slight differences between Yoga and Pilates, however the fact that Yoga is a lifestyle is the main difference. The differences for many appear to be subtle, so the choice you make between Yoga and Pilates will depend on your personal preference and your life choices and fitness aspirations.
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What Happens During a Pilates Class
Your first Pilates session can be daunting if you aren't sure what to expect. It is a workout which focuses on the whole body, working to create balance and awareness. Pilates will also focus on; lowering stress levels, toning your body as well as giving you better posture.
Here is a list everything you'll need to know before attending your first class and the best way to look after you body after your first class.
Equipment You'll Need For Your Pilates Classes
- A good Pilates mat or yoga mat, is essential! It will; a) stop you from slipping, b) cushion the floor and c) define your workout space and assist coordination
- Don't forget a water bottle and stay hydrated!
- Comfy and quality work out gear which is form fitting is advised, so that your alignment is visible to your Pilates instructor; longer pants are preferred as shorts tend to ride up.
*Any specialist equipment such as a Pilates reformer are often supplied by studios.
What to Do Before Your Pilates Class
Before you book your first class it is important to ask the receptionist what type of Pilates it is. This is important because there are different forms of Pilates which are run slightly differently, many studios also have their own unique rules and ways of teaching.
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What Happens During a Pilates Class?
Don't rock up late to your first class, arrive early so you can grab a suitable space to workout. It is also important to let your instructor know if you are a beginner so they can modify the lesson for you if you happen to struggle.
Pilates movements can sometimes be tough even though they are slow and controlled. You may feel this during the class when you are doing the poses; don't worry what others are doing just focus on you!
What to Do After your Pilates Class
It is essential that you hydrate your body after a class, this is so you can replenish lost nutrients and fluids.
You may find your body could be aching or have some pain for a couple days following a lesson; this norma and a positive sign that your muscles have responded well to the class.
How to Choose a Pilates Class
When choosing a Pilates class, it is important to remember a few things. You can ask yourself; What are my workout goals and what motivates me? There are plenty of styles and locations of Pilates exercises for you to explore.
Why not try a few different class styles and see how you feel during Pilates practise. Choosing a fitness class that is rewarding and enjoyable is the best way to dedicate your time to regular practice. If you enjoy something it doesn't feel like a chore!
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Pilates Method: The 6 Main Styles
Created by Joseph Pilates, the Classical Pilates main focus is breathing and body-mind awareness as well as increasing core strength
This focuses on personalised goals to help rehabilitation, heal injuries and strengthen your body.
This focuses on realigning the spine and improving posture.
- Group Reformer
This style relies on a reformer machine, this aids flexibility and manipulates the body.
A blend of Pilates and Physiotherapy, it focuses on working specific areas of the body, it does not consider mind balance.
- Contemporary Studios
Run in a studio environment, it is similar to Classical Pilates and has many of the same moves as Classical Pilates.
Where Can I Learn Pilates?
- Group Lessons
It is most likely that your local gym or studio will offer a Pilates group class. You'll have plenty of opportunity to get feedback from your instructor and meet new people.
- Private Classes with a Pilates Instructor
One on one attention from Pilates instructor in a private class is invaluable and you will advance in your practise of Pilates.
3. Intensive Pilates Retreats
If you want to fast track your interest and commitment to Pilates this a great way to get started. You will get personalised support and be able to ask questions.
- DVD Workouts
If you want to practise at home and want cost efficient alternative to in person classes.
- Online Pilates Training
You have the option of taking paid private live online classes of Pilates or free Pilates videos on YouTube, these are both great options to benefit your regular Pilates practice.
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How Much Will Pilates Classes Cost Me?
With plenty of Pilates class styles available, there are also plenty of differently priced options.
- If you are interested classical Pilates classes these are most often practised Pilates studio or a gym. Group lessons typically cost between $30-$60 per small class. Sometimes gyms will include Pilates classes, which means there won't be an added cost to your overall gym membership. This makes Pilates classes financially accessible for many people.
- Given that clinical Pilates focuses on aspects of Physiotherapy with a qualified practitioner it can have a high price point, as it is a specialised service is can cost up to $100 for a 30 minutes session.
- A contemporary style and a branch of classical Pilates focusing on spinal alignment, Scott Pilates will cost around $30-$40 per session.
- Another contemporary style Pilates, Polestar Pilates is a personalised form of Pilates which will cost approximately $30 each class.
- A focus on using the Reformer machine, this style assists the Pilates practice, classes begin at $40.
- If you are looking for an intensive experience Pilates retreats with personal support are fabulous if you also want holiday! The cost of week-long retreats can start from $2999, when broken down the cost coming to about $428 a day.
- Learning from the comfort of your own home by using pre-recorded Pilates Fitness Classes are a good option for people who want to learn without financial setbacks. There are lots of high quality videos which are fantastic, allowing you to choose what part of your body you want to work on free of charge!
- Learning how to do Pilates with an online personal instructor is a good way to get personalised and one and one support- here at Superprof Pilates prices begin at $64 per class.
You don't need to blow all of your savings to get started on your Pilates practise, all you'll need is an open mind, a mat, comfy form-fitting clothes and yourself! You can easily pick up this equipment at your local Kmart, Big W or Target for a low cost.
Now that we've covered all the information you'll need to get started, learn more about Pilates and find some beginner Pilates classes near you; start your journey to a path of wellbeing and better health today.
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