Yoga or Pilates – Which is Right for Your Office?
We’ve all experienced how sitting in front of a computer – often strained and under pressure – can leave your upper body, neck and shoulder muscles feeling tense. In our traditional working positions, we place unnecessary strain on our upper back and lower spine, leading to tightness and a stiff neck and shoulders.
Office yoga and pilates can help alleviate the physical symptoms that we put on our body after long periods of time spent sat at our desks. Each fitness method has its own unique benefits but both can leave you feeling more supple, energised and ultimately healthier, happier and more motivated at work.
How Do the Two Fitness Types Differ?
Both pilates and yoga can be enjoyed by people of all fitness levels and ages and, where possible, you should try both to see which suits you best. Both also offer improved flexibility and a firm belief that the mind is connected with the body.
However, although similar practices, yoga and pilates are considerably different. Unlike pilates, yoga includes an added emphasis on spirituality and encourages participants to develop a mind/body/spirit connection. Pilates is a purely core muscle concentration – focused on improving overall strength and tone, typically using your body’s own resistance.
Another key difference between the two is the breathing techniques that are applied. While yoga focuses heavily on breath to achieve a relaxed state, pilates uses breath to provide muscles with oxygen, enabling them to become stronger and energised.
Why Do This Specifically in Office?
As a team activity doing either yoga or pilates is productive, positive and, dare we say it, really good fun!
In terms of the physical fitness, both classes promote self-motivation and the feel-good factor that comes with committing to a programme that will be valuable in the long term.
The classes can also be beneficial to the mind. Learning to be in tune with your mind, and carving time out of the day to focus on the body, all lends itself to better concentration, increased energy levels and a more positive attitude – a contagious, ripple-effect which can be felt throughout the office.
A less obvious advantage of workplace pilates and yoga is that they reduce feelings of office isolation. Participating in a group class brings together different teams, easily develops relations and gives everyone an inclusive experience. It is the easy access, consistency and the sociability that comes when doing the exercises with colleagues that slowly takes down social barriers without having to address them openly.
Office yoga and pilates offer elegant solutions, enabling staff to wind down and come together in a relaxed, sincere environment.