Yoga vs Pilates vs The Alexander Technique

So you make the decision to leave the slouch behind and to embark on some sort of course which will provide you with all you need to go forth into the world with relaxed shoulders, a straight back and an elegance unseen by boyfriend/girlfriend/other half/person you fancy in the office, before. But certain questions remain: Which technique is the best one and which technique is right for me? How do you know?

Well, here at Posture People we are excited by all things posture, so we did some research and spoke to a couple of people about all three and made you a nice little table so that you can be sure to pick the one that’s right for you!

Name of practice: Yoga

First practiced in: The current system of yoga is based on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras which was written some time between 200 B.C.E. – 300 C.E.

Key identifying features:

  • Yoga is older and has survived the test of time. It is well practiced and extremely well written about a group of exercises.
  • The exercises are inclusive of everything from physical postures, personal hygiene, and a healthy diet; to premeditation, breathing, and relaxation techniques. The most advanced forms of meditation and self-realisation are also a part of yoga.
  • Yoga is a spiritual science of self-realisation. Although much of it is focused around stretching, twisting and bending, Yoga has surprisingly profound effects on your internal organs.

What people say:

Meg Ryan says, “I started [yoga] about five years ago. I will say, definitely, it’s changed my life. It’s made me calmer. It puts you right in the place – which is great.”

Pop singer Ricky Martin says, “I’m learning yoga. It’s fascinating. Once again, it’s all about getting to know yourself. It helps in connecting your heart and mind and prevents compulsive or obsessive decisions in life. Simplicity is the medicine.”

Name of practice: Pilates

First practiced in: Pilates is not an ancient practice like yoga. It is just 80 years old and invented by a German athlete, Joseph Pilates.

Key identifying features:

  • Pilates is more focused on practicing specific exercises and is not considered a lifestyle regime the same way that Yoga is.
  • Although it does look at mental through physical wellbeing, and does recommend a healthy diet, meditation and breathing exercises in conjunction with it.
  • The exercises develop core strength inside the body and elongate the spine.
  • Pilates breathing encourages inhaling via the nose and exhaling through the mouth, whereas Yoga concentrates on utilising the nose for both inhaling and exhaling.
  • Unlike Yoga, Pilates does not require any sort of extra props such as blocks, straps and blankets.
  • Pilates helps you to develop a flat abdomen and a strong back. It also enhances your joint mobility, flexibility and posture.
  • Pilates is an excellent way to build strength without attaining those bulky muscles!

What people say:

Hugh Grant says, “Now I have muscles of steel and could easily deal with giving birth.”

Jennifer Anniston admits, “I’m a Pilates person. It’s great. I had a hip problem. I had a chronic back, a pinched nerve and it’s completely solved all of it. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m taller!”

Name of practice: The Alexander Technique

First practiced in: The Alexander Technique was created by a Shakespearian actor after he developed chronic laryngitis whilst performing. His name was Frederick Malthias Alexander and he developed The Alexander Technique between 1869 and 1955 while he tried to resolve the problems with his voice.

Key identifying features:

  • The Alexander Technique teaches the skilful “use of the self”, but essentially focuses on the head, neck and shoulders and how that affects the rest of the body and mind.
  • The exercises use trained observation and light hand contact to detect the student’s areas of unnecessary physical and mental stress.
  • The exercises are inclusive of everything, including actions such as sitting, standing, walking, using the hands and speaking.
  • The Alexander Technique is used to improve posture and movement, and to use muscles efficiently.

What people say:

“The Alexander Technique has helped me to undo knots, unblock energy, and deal with almost paralysing stage fright,” says William Hurt.

Do you need some advice about your workplace?

Get in touch and one of our team would be happy to help answer your questions.

  • Please type the characters into the box on the right.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.