Alright. Here's the thing. When I ask new clients whether they've ever done pilates, I often get 'No, but I've done yoga' as a response.
If they've never done pilates before, I understand why they may think the two types of exercise are similar: they both use the same mats, the activewear is the same, and you appear to be doing the same sorts of movements. And, for some reason, the two have been lumped in the same category for years almost unchallenged.
But they're different. And now I have my proof.
A local yoga company was offering a free class in a park this morning, so I signed up to go along. I'd never done yoga, and I thought this was a neat way to try it without too much pressure.
It was a beautiful morning - not too hot but the sun was out, no gale-force winds to blow us over while in our Warrior stance. Just right. (Well, the grass was a bit wet and the ants seemed to really like our mats as climbing gyms, but otherwise, all good.)
My verdict: I wouldn't classify yoga as a 'workout' in the same way that I would pilates.
There was a lot of stretching, which makes you realise that your flexibility may not yet be where you want it to be, and we challenged our core as we moved into certain poses (especially when standing on one leg on an uneven surface!), but I didn't leave feeling as though I'd done my exercise for the day. I definitely did not have the burn that I do when I finish a pilates workout.
Like anything, it's about the individual effort you're willing to make. If you don't put in, you're unlikely to get much out.
With that mindset, I took the option to 'hop' into the Plank position to begin a new series of exercises/poses/stretches. I also tried the harder options offered to the group to really feel as though I had given it my all - except with 'The Crow' - that's not really my thing, so I stuck to the basics with that one.
I think if I were to try yoga again in a studio environment, which would naturally be calmer and less noisy than a park near a busy street, I may have a slightly different experience. And I may just try it again, because I enjoy trying different types of exercise to keep me on my toes.
To all of you who enjoy yoga: Namaste. I can't say that I didn't enjoy yoga; I'll just say that I personally prefer pilates, and pilates, is not, yoga. And vice versa.