View Full Version : Pilates, yoga-teaching content

10-18-2009, 09:46 AM
Am taking a pilates-yoga class ..only once per wk. Took it to learn more on proper execution of certain poses and movements. Am glad I am taking it.

The teaching content is such that she teaches in each class, new movements for us to practice /try on our own. Must say it is alot to remember. By the time I get home, I can only remember less than 5 new movements. Usually after evening, I've already done several different little bike trips that day and after a hot shower, I'm blissfully asleep. Yea, real good benefits of this stuff. :)

She is a good instructor and is excellent on proper form to prevent injury, etc. We respond well to her gentle teaching.

What is a normal pilates or yoga class like? Do you do the same sequence of movements and positions for a series of classes?

10-18-2009, 10:30 AM
It all depends on the form of yoga. Some styles (Ashtanga in particular, and I think Bikram as well, but I've only taken one Bikram class ever) are a set sequence of asanas (postures) which are added on to with the development of the student's practice. Ashtanga is done without a "teacher" in its pure form. You go into the studio, start the series on your own, and get adjustments from the "teacher", who is silently watching and moving around the room helping. It's very free and structured at the same time. Hard to explain. To learn the sequence, you attend a "led series", where a teacher will guide you through the postures.

Other styles can be completely varied based on what the teacher and class feels like working on that day. Some teachers will ask for requests. Most classes will have a level (beginner, moderate, advanced), and a good teacher will ask if there are beginners and give modifications/easier versions of the postures for both new students or people with injuries. Advanced classes will usually involve more inversions (poses where your feet are over your head) and may move more quickly or more slowly. Some styles are all about perfection of poses (Iyengar comes to mind) and some are more flowing (Vinyasa).

Pilates classes can vary a little, but a mat class always starts with "the hundred" and has "ab series". The exercises are very particular, and you are striving for a specific form. I've had classes called "Pilates" taught by people who have obviously never taken a Pilates class, and these are usually some version of a core-work class. Some gyms offer "yogalates" which is seems to me to be a catch all phrase for a yoga class with ab work. Regular Pilates has nothing to do with yoga. It's not spiritual, there's not a lot of stretching or holding positions. It's fast and fun and you're done. :)

The more you go to the classes, the more familiar you will become with it all, shootingstar. Especially if you continue with one teacher, you will soon enough learn her bag of tricks.

10-18-2009, 10:34 AM
I seem to remember that you like to do stretches at home. That yoga class you're in seems like a good fit!

My own experience is quite limited. I am just taking a weekly session at work now (a group of us organized to get an instructor to come on site). Had not been in organized yoga for yeeaaaars, and even then it was very little.

There are a number of poses we do at every class, but she seems to have a focus of her own, too. The sequences are never exactly the same, but I cannot observe a clear pattern yet. We do enough of the same that I am getting better at the poses.

I would not like it if the poses totally changed every week, I think it would make me feel like I'm always trying to catch up.

10-18-2009, 03:48 PM
That's great Grog to have a bunch of people interested and doing there on-site.

Thx for brief comparisons so far, redhodie. I didn't know. Didn't know that pilates was meant to be fast(er). Our class blends in yoga plus pilates ab/core work. She shows us beginner poses/movements plus 1-2 advanced versions, depending on our comfort level when we follow her along.

For certain sequences of 4-5 poses/movements, there are the same sets interspersed with new exercises for each class.

It's important for me to feel healthily stretched and improve my posture as time marches on. Over the years, I have found doing regular stretches, etc. minimizes back and neck pain/stiffness that I get from inactivity (during winter) or from being on the bike saddle for longer rides for several consecutive days. So really, I consider yoga-pilates as preventive, long-term medicine for myself, and very much at a secondary level, for body tone.

My overall balance when walking & standing is important to also. I've known women my age and abit younger who have easily tripped/fallen on the ground/twisted their ankle simply walking on flat level and due to inattention. Some of the yoga poses are great for balance.

10-18-2009, 06:38 PM
Pilates and yoga are very different. For one thing, the breathing technique of each are just about opposite. In yoga (I do very basic Astanga), breathing fills the belly. In Pilates, you scoop your belly when you breathe in. I cannot imagine a combo class because of this fundamental difference.

I've done Pilates for a number of years now. There are some terrible classes available. Stick with classical Pilates taught by a well-trained instructor. Same for yoga, but I don't know as much about yoga.

I do them each--but not both at the same time. I do Pilates in the mornings--I find it energizing. I do yoga in the evenings--it relaxes me and helps me sleep.

If you like your class, keep at it and learn all you can. You might get interested in other classes and forms of yoga, so keep your eyes open. I recently added a tai-chi class once per week and I'm really enjoying it.

Plenty of stretching in Pilates in my experience.

10-18-2009, 07:45 PM
Agree with Tulip; I would have trouble mixing Pilates and Yoga in one class. I went to a combo class once and wasn't such a fan as taking these classes separately.

I was a big pilates fan for a couple of years until for some reason I switched completely to yoga -- perhaps internal, spiritual related... or maybe the crazy arm poses and headstands... or maybe I just found the right teacher. Now I'm a bit bored / uninterested in pilates, and find yoga deeper and more complex. YMMV.

My experience is that every class is different, and every class is the same. I really recommend trying out a wide variety of teachers (and forms/types), then dedicating some time to the ones you like to see how much they vary, even if it's from one day to the next.

There's a lot to learn, but in a few months you may have all the sanskrit names rolling off your tongue. I haven't been more aware of my body's change and development as I have been with yoga.

10-19-2009, 06:47 AM
I haven't been more aware of my body's change and development as I have been with yoga.

This is true though I haven't done some of this stuff for long.
I appreciate all the feedback so far.

The last time I took an organized non-cycling, sports/exercise class, was tai chi about 20 yrs. ago. What I retained from so long ago and still use are some select warm-up exercises which are probably unique to tai chi. To me there are some basic body alignment approaches that bridge all yoga, tai chi, etc. ...for use of inner energy, relaxation of shoulders, safe positioning of core body in relationship to limbs (depending on position), rooting one's feet/foot for optimum balance/strength, etc.

10-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Since I just moved to a new city, I'm in the process of shopping for a new Pilates studio. What I've found is that even among studios that teach classical Pilates, there can be a bit of variation in terms of teaching style, and how they might want you to do the exercises. For example, some of the verbal cues they use to get you to engage your core may be different, but it all translates to roughly the same thing. Within a studio it is reasonable to expect that there is generally some consistency in that regard.

I think in my case there is also a "getting to know you phase" when going to work out in a new environment, since I'm not starting from scratch.

10-23-2009, 10:13 PM
Hey NB..what do you think of Oiltown so far??

There's tons to see n do in Northern Alberta, please enjoy it whilst you're in that neck of de woods.

Oh ya..I should also mention you're a hop skip & a jump away from some way cool mtn biking ;):):cool:

10-24-2009, 10:27 AM
Hi CC,

Well, no doubt I miss Seattle but people here are really friendly. I'm getting acclimated, slowly but surely.

Feel free to PM me any recommendations of favorite day trips, mtb areas, etc! It seems that just riding around the neighborhoods in the city that an mtb is more appropriate on some of the trail connections, so I'm looking forward to getting it out of storage!