Pilates or Yoga?

Which one would you recommend to supplement the running and prevent injuries? If yoga, which types?

I'm quite new to running and had some problems with one of my hamstrings on and off, but would like to increase my distance and speed a bit. Also, I work in an office job, so figured something to increase core stability and prevent back/neck pain would be good.



  • I do a great class called body balance and it is a mixture of Yoga, pilates and Tai chi it is to music and the format changes about every 3 months so it keeps it interesting.

    If you don't have that one yoga or pilates I think have the same benefits so I would go to either one and I do if I can't get to the balance class.

    I am just a beginner and had a few injuries at the start including problems with my ITBS since I have started these classes I have been lucky and had no injuries.

  • IMHO Body Balance is a heap of crap marketed at the masses. 

    If you want to truly reap any benefits from either discipline may it be yoga, pilates or tai chi, then do them as a single discipline under the instruction of a specialist tutor... not this body balance... "yogalates" etc gym rubbish taught by jack-of-all trades PTs.

    The types of benefits you reap from yoga will depend on the particular form of yoga you chose to do...  there are many...  Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, various forms of Hatha Yoga... some are more dynamic and will build strength and flexibility quite quickly... others are more meditative.

    Pilates is less likely to make you more flexibile, but is more likely to build core strength (which you obviously need for running).  Again if it's poorly instructed you will never find your transversus abdomins in a million years.  The importannce with pilates is to engage the correct set of core muscles and not to allow other muscles to help out in the exercise.  For example when you do slow leg raises the key is to engage your core and not allow your glutes to help out in lifting the leg.

    The whole thing requires a bit of concentration if you want to do it properly.  Which brings me to another point.  Neither yoga nor pilates should be instructed to music!!  It distracts from the breathing patterns you are meant to adopt.

  • It is lucky we are different  it would be boring if we were all the same. Nam have you actually done the class? If so how many have you attended. It has really benefited me and my legs.

    Each to their own.

    I also attend a yoga or pilates  once a week and there is music playing during both classes.

    My core strength has improved a lot since I started.

  • I used to go to Fitness First for 7 years and they teach the full scope of the Les Mills range (Body Pump, RPM, Body Combat etc) and most of the classes are good. 

    2 of my friends are Les Mills instructors although neither has chosen to teach BB because both think its crap.  One of them is also a Less Mills assessor (one of the people who passes or fails the videos PTs send in to qualify).  I know for a fact that BB was added to the Les Mills portfolio to attract the largely sedentary population to classes who didn't have the CV endurance to do anything else of the Les Mills portfolio such as Body Jam or Body Combat...  That's why it was developed...

    I have done Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga for over 5 years and have been told I should teach but wouldn't have the time.

    Another friend of mine came to BB for a laugh (he is a Tai Chi Master) and he nearly wet himself laughing at the complete load of cobblers they claim to be Tai Chi in BB.

    These classes that meddle the disciplines and play some twinkly music are marketed at a particular group of people who like them... but it's nothing like learning each discipline properly.

  • One day when the BB instructor didn't turn up my usual Ashtaga Vinyasa teacher covered the class and went through the short form...

    Most of the ladies who normally do BB were exhausted after the 3rd set of sunsalutations and couldn't get into half of the postures...

    But as you said... horses for courses...

    I just disagree that it should be regarded as "as good as"...

  • I don't think I said it was "as good as" I only know that I enjoy it and i am not someone who can't do the sun salutations in the other yoga class I attend.

    I also wouldn't put myself in the bracket that you suggest people who attend BB are in.

    I also don't think that the Tai Chi is going to be the real deal the but the moves are usually used to warm up. My intention was not to become a Tai Chi expert just enjoy a group class with some friendly faces and improve my core fitness at the same time.

  • TBH the Les Mills stuff is all dumbed down exercise for the masses. I used to work in a leisure club, and treated plenty of injuries from Combat and Attack.

    Hi Nam image can you recommend a good ashtanga vinyasa yoga vid / DVD - intermediate level? No-one teaches it near me, only hatha which isn't really me.

  • Hold on Siance I'll dig out what I've got...  image
  • Basically David Swenson is THE MAN.... when it comes to Ashtanga Yoga.  There is a cracking DVD by his on the 2nd and 3rd Series if you're already proficient in the first.

    http://www.yoga-ez.com/ashtanga-yoga.html  They seem to be sold out on Yoga Ez... but maybe have a look on Ebay or Amazon?

    David Swenson's practice manual is great!!!!  Also  John Scott's book on Ashtanga.  http://www.yoga-ez.com/ashtanga.html#Anchor-47857

    There is a list of Ashtanga teachers here:

    Really no one near you at all?  image

  • thanks for info Nam, appreciate it

    i live in the sticks - nearest gyms offering classes are 25+ miles away... i spend a lot of time in my car for my work, so trying to reduce excessive travelling image

    there's a 'yoga' class at my village hall, literally spitting distance from my house, but it's 'lay down with a blanket' type yoga, and i can have a free nap at home with the cat image

  • I feel your pain.  It's amazing what passes as yoga sometimes...  I mean even to Hatha yoga there's a lot more to it than lie down breathe and go 'om'....

    Most decent teachers are BWY registered.  http://www.bwy.org.uk/

    They also have a search engine for teachers http://www.bwy.org.uk/teachers/local_teachers.php

  • I went to an Iyengar session once at a nearby town, but didn't rate the instructor (i used to teach), she just wasn't safe, gave no adaptations etc. Funniest bit was when she pulled my friend's ponytail to get her into a posture!
  • Wow... image
  • quite.

    and the general announcement to the class, "Everyone except Katy can do the inverted postures as she's menstruating" image image

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