YOGA AND PILATES

Over the past year, I have noticed I very often get this response when I suggest to someone they come and try my yoga class: “No, I do pilates”. I am unsure what it means, but I can acknowledge there are lots of ways to understand the word “yoga”. Probably a lot of misperceptions going around too?! And maybe sometimes the “no” comes from the uncomfortable feeling of being asked to try something that you might not be “good at”?

Just want to say: There are lots of different types of yoga, it’s been around for over 4,000 years, everyone can do yoga, and everyone can benefit from practising it! Yoga is so much more than poses practised on a mat. It is not about how it looks, it’s about how it makes you feel. Any reason for starting yoga is valid. Trust that yoga will deliver if you just stick with it, allowing your body and yourself to take in what it offers.

I’ve been practising both yoga and pilates. I went from nothing to yoga, from yoga to pilates, from pilates to yoga and pilates, and now I am back with yoga again 💜

The transition yoga to pilates happened because I went too far on the yoga mat and ended up injuring myself. I did poses that were not meant for my body – however they looked really good and achievable! I have since learned there is no need for “kamikaze yoga poses”. Do not be fooled by how yoga poses look. Small movements on the yoga mat will make a great impact on the overall wellness in your body, mind and breath.

Pilates exercises helped me build muscles in places where I was not strong enough for how I was moving in daily life. My pilates teacher was very clear on alignment, and her sessions brought a lot of awareness to imbalances in my body.

After nearly 10 years with pilates, the transition to adding yoga to my practice happened because I started missing the whole body connection that I had experienced with yoga. I also missed the feeling of close connection to my breath. Not to mention the sense of peacefulness within me, happiness and clarity of mind that just seem to come as a result of yoga practice. So I returned to yoga. And in my first class back, perhaps because I had already been there several years earlier, I went straight back into this space of calmness that is always within us, although often hidden away and so need to get uncovered through practice. I had come home to myself again and it was beautiful.

A few years ago I made the transition yoga and pilates to only yoga. The yoga teacher training I was doing at the time required a lot of self-practice to learn to really feel the various poses. I ended up preferring only doing my own thing. Such a luxury to move your body in ways it wants to move for you to live with as much ease as possible in your daily life! Not to mention the great feeling of happiness and calmness within that comes with your practice.

In case you are already going to pilates classes and want to try yoga, you will probably recognise some of the poses. They might just be presented differently. The use of breath might be different too. With yoga, you will enter a new world. Just allow the yoga to open you and connect you with yourself. Find a yoga teacher who can help you gain confidence in your body, allowing you to feel safe as you follow her/his guidance, and who respects the anatomy of the body so that you can move with trust. I teach yoga in Wimbledon – you could come and try out one of my classes 🙂

That is all!

 

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children and live in Wimbledon.