Back in the heyday of my youth, when I first started studying pilates, it would be unheard of to find a pilates studio offering yoga and vice versa. As a student, you either practiced yoga OR pilates. Pilates and yoga were perceived as very different forms of movement, with very little cross over.

I was introduced to pilates through a physio who was treating me for moderate injuries after a car accident. Prior to the accident I had been taking yoga classes for 4 + years, having originally been introduced to it at university. After recovering enough to return to my yoga mat, what I noticed immediately was that my yoga practice felt so much better in my body. I felt like I owned my yoga practice, rather than it owning me. I felt grounded, I felt strong, I was more conscious of my movements, I moved more intentionally. My awareness of my body and the ability to focus breath by breath on my asana practice, grew exponentially. I felt more confident to create a practice that was suitable for my body, even in the space of a busy yoga class.

What I learned is how genuinely complementary these two disciplines are. Over time and many years of practice, weaving these two approached to movement together has given me a pilates practice that is more dynamic and playful and a yoga practice that is simpler, focused and grounded. At this stage of my practice, I can't differentiate between the two - the practices have become one; a beautiful blend of intentional movement.

My life informs my work so at the studio we offer our students both yoga AND pilates. In fact, we've even designed a class for it - aptly named, The Blend.

Why not throw in a bit of focused attention to axial elongation in your Virabhadrasana series? • Notice how good it feels to gently soften the front of your lower ribs toward your belly in Crescent Lunge. • When you stand tall in Tadasana, draw your pubic bone slightly toward your naval, breathe into the back and sides of your ribcage and broaden across your collarbones. • In your bridge pose, reach your kneecaps forward and imagine pulling your heels toward your shoulders, livening up the back line of your body.

I mean we could go on and on. At this stage we don’t even know where yoga ends and pilates begins, we just know that they work damn well together. Whatever you do, enjoy your practice, breathe fully, smile and shine on!

In our last blog we went over some of the nuances of yoga. This month we thought we’d cover pilates, which is another incredible holistic approach to caring for your body and mind system. Much like the evolution of yoga over the years, pilates has undergone many changes and interpretations. The true heart of pilates however still lies in functional movement and rehabilitation. Joseph Pilates, born and raised near Dusseldorf, Germany, was quite sickly as a child. One could glean from his history that he was destined to build the system of movement that would become pilates. Most influential to this future system, that would first become known as Contrology, was when Pilates was interned during the First World War. Part of his internment was spent on the Isle of Man working with injured soldiers who were unable to walk. He attached bed springs to the hospital beds to support the patient's limbs as they moved through exercises. These original contraptions would later influence the equipment we are now familiar with in pilates studios - the reformer, cadillac, etc.

Later, Joseph and his wife, Clara, relocated to New York and began teaching this developing system to dancers, athletes and, later, celebrities. As popularity grew, the two of them would take on interns. These interns would be a catalyst for the slow spread of pilates globally.

Now there are innumerable interpretations of pilates, pilates teachers and pilates studios. There really is a pilates style to suit every body.

At The Body Garage we tailor our classes and 1:1 sessions to fit our students. Our approach is therapeutic in nature, meaning our intention in each session is to uncover and address imbalances in the body and, over time, support you as your body heals and restores. We offer classes every day, and our classes really are for every body.

If you’re curious and ready, get in touch to find out more :

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