Advice Hub

Pilates and Yoga

PILATES:

Pilates is names after Joseph Pilates a German immigrant into Britain, who then moved to the USA and developed an exercise protocol in the 1920’s. This was used on ex-soldiers from the Great War among others but became very popular in the 1990’s. It focuses on balance, posture, strength and flexibility, and has proven to be very beneficial to our general musculoskeletal health, especially good for those unfamiliar to previous exercise or older people.

Equipment is simple, just loose comfortable clothing, a towel, and a water bottle and if available a cushioned mat. Barefoot is preferred but if your feet get cold a pair of purpose designed toe pocket socks like ToeToe® Yoga/Pilates socks are ideal. If you have painful feet, you might need to keep your trainers on with your orthoses in, at least for weight-bearing exercises.

Classes are great fun, and your instructor can direct you. If you don’t feel ready for that, or you feel a bit shy, just do it at home by following some simple videos on-line. The one provided by the NHS is ideal:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/pages/pilates-for-beginners.aspx

If you have specific problems or injuries you might need some one to one coaching from a specialist trainer. You might find your physiotherapist is able to provide this direction or direct you to their preferred specialist.

YOGA:

This is a form of exercised developed around 5,000 years ago in Northern India. It attempts to cultivate wellbeing physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. It works on posture and movement, breath awareness, breathing exercises, as well as relaxation, concentration and meditation. It is good for toning and strengthening muscles.

Like Pilates it is another easy exercise to do at home requiring only a clear floor and loose comfortable clothing, and is usually done barefooted. Cold feet again means that ToeToe® specific Yoga/Pilates socks are a great option. A padded mat is again useful but a carpet will do.

However, the positions are more extreme than Pilates, and we would advise you learn with someone who knows what they are doing and don’t push yourself too hard. You are far more likely to be injured doing Yoga than Pilates. Neck, low back, and hamstrings are most commonly injured. This is particularly true if you are trying to work around an existing injury. More simple Yoga classes are available for the beginner or older student.

What is our main yoga advice? Know your limitations and don’t push it!

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