Exercise makes us feel good. Whether you’re more down for exercising whilst watching your favourite television shows (which we’ve written about), doing a Joe Wicks HIIT workout, hitting the gym for a sweat-fest of heavy Olympic lifting or CrossFit, or if you need a gentler approach like yoga or pilates – even chair-based exercises. We know that moving our bodies promotes better sleep, improves muscle tone, and improves brain health, amongst many other benefits. We say “gentler” approach but anyone who has done yoga or pilates knows that some advanced forms of yoga can be as challenging as any P90X or Insanity workout ever claims to be. Here are the best “yoga in the park” classes to join.
What are yoga and pilates?
Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline made up of physical, mental, and spiritual practices to bring harmony to the mind and body. The word “yoga” itself comes from the Sanskrit root of “Yuj” which means “to join,” “to yoke,” or “to unite.” When the Western world practices “yoga”, it is more appropriated to a modern form of Hatha yoga, which uses posture-based physical fitness, stress relief, and relaxation techniques. Traditional yoga focuses more on meditation and releasing the mind from worldly attachments.
Pilates, on the other hand, was developed by a German physical trainer, Joseph Pilates, in the 20th century (in the 1930s). Pilates requires stability, strength, flexibility, muscle control, posture, and breathing techniques.
With yoga, you usually adopt a position and hold it and then flow into a new position. In Pilates, you adopt a position and then engage your core by moving your arms or legs. Both exercise techniques increase strength and flexibility. Pilates can be done on the floor or with specialised equipment.
What are the benefits of yoga and pilates?
Both yoga and pilates can improve posture, increase flexibility, increase core strength and stability, and ease lower back pain. Yoga can also improve balance, enhance sleep, ease stress, ease menopause symptoms, help with weight loss, and relieve tension headaches. Yoga is lower impact and can often be performed by anyone. The muscle stretching and lengthening involved can help you get a better workout session, reduce the chances of workout/sports injuries, and improve your overall range of motion.
How do I find places to practice yoga and pilates?
There are numerous resources to help you find yoga and pilates classes near you.
- There’s a Park Yoga website that helps you find park yoga classes: https://parkyoga.co/
- You can look for sessions available in whichever city you’re in on Eventbrite. For example, there are often sessions of yoga in Hyde Park as well as pilates in the park sessions: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/
- The Meet-Ups website also has a search feature where you can look for local yoga and pilates sessions: https://www.meetup.com/
- You can search for yoga and pilates studios near you on your preferred search engine or on social media group pages.
- Often your local gym will have yoga and pilates classes – and for those who are new parents, there are sometimes “Baby and me” yoga classes.
If you cannot find any of the above options near you, there are multiple apps that offer free or paid guided yoga and pilates sessions that you can do at home. Plus, there are many yoga and pilates instructors on YouTube who publish free sessions for you to do too.
For more workout inspiration, check out this post on how to get your legs beach ready and this one about the best apps to help you reach your fitness goals. Let us know on Tria Beauty UK’s social media where you like to practice yoga and pilates. So get out there, keep your body moving, and make your mind and body feel good!