Should I do Yoga or Pilates? By Lara Syme

Lara doing yoga

I found myself, asking myself just this question this week. I have negotiated a week night where I leave my husband with an unbathed, hungry and overtired baby…. And come home to a baby who is fast asleep, contently fed and smelling of roses… and if I’m really lucky the house will be clean and our dinner almost cooked. That last part is just a fantasy!

Anyway, I need to constantly work on my strength and fitness. I have a physical job and over my 12 years working as a Physio, I have seen my colleagues progressively drop like flies from our profession, because their bodies just can’t take the constant leaning over a treatment bed, leaning down to change springs, supporting patients as they walk etc.

Now I have a baby who is getting heavier and heavier and still needs carrying and lifting. I want to be that Mum who gives “horsey rides” and ducks into low tunnels at the playground…. Actually, my dream is to continue playing weekly basketball long enough, for my daughter to be able to join the team I started in 2003 – fingers crossed!

There are so many factors that influence how I would advise a Patient in this decision. Here are some key considerations:

1. Know your body – are you injured? If so there may be key Yoga poses that you may find painful or irritating to your condition. Of course there are Pilates exercises that may irritate your condition too. However at InnerStrength we pride ourselves on creating an individualised program for each patient – you will rarely find another person in your class doing the same Clinical Pilates exercise as you. This allows us to avoid prescribing exercises that aren’t what your body needs.

2. Get to know the Instructor – an experienced and interested Instructor will be able to modify all Pilates and Yoga classes to your bodies’ requirements.

3. How big is the class? Even the most dedicated teacher is going to struggle to cater to individual needs, if your class has more than 5-6 participants in a class.

4. Which do you enjoy more? Everyone knows you are more likely to stick with exercise that you enjoy. Exercise that you wake up excited about and exercise, that when you go to bed that night, makes you feel that little bit stronger.

5. Can you do both? There may be no need to choose! Why not do both! My career has demonstrated to me, time and time again, that a varied exercise regime is the key to staying strong, staying engaged and avoiding overuse injuries.

After considerable deliberation, and because I can only negotiate one night off a week, I decided that the best answer to this question for me, is to do weekly Physio led Clinical Pilates in a small class with an inspiring teacher and let my Private Health fund pay for it!

But I also do Yoga twice a week while my baby is napping, I try to watch You Tube Yoga class videos – there is an excellent 38 min “Intermediate Yoga Class”, that I do time and time again but always feel challenged by it.

If you would like to talk to one of our Clinical Pilates Instructors about your strength goals or if you would like to get to know of some great places to do Yoga, just give us a call 8555 4099.