Pilates and Yoga: A Q & A with Portia Page

Pilates and Yoga: A Q & A with Portia Page

Our final entry into looking at the symmetry between Pilates and Yoga.  This time we feature Balanced Body Master Instructor and Fitness Star, Portia Page

Pilates |pəˈläˌdēz | : a system of exercises using special apparatus designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture and enhance mental awareness.

Yoga |ˈyōɡə |: a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

When & why did you start practicing (or teaching) Pilates (or Yoga)?
I began teaching both Pilates and Yoga in the gyms in 1995 – and I began to teach before I began to practice either modality. I was already an instructor, and my coordinator and boss needed people to teach classes with these titles – so I began teaching before practicing. Although a bit backward – it was a very rewarding experience, and I discovered right away that both provided me benefits and realizations about my own body and how it moves that still help today. With Pilates, it was also the way (via one of my best friends who was a fellow aerobics competitor and also a Pilates instructor and studio owner) that I stayed relatively injury-free through those rigorous practices and competitions over a 5-year period in competitive aerobics competitions.

How/why did you see Yoga “fitting” into your Pilates journey?
For me, Yoga was my workout ‘getaway’ – different than what I regularly taught (and ‘did’ all day at work), and good for my body. When I also started teaching it,  I realized how well it complemented what I did in Pilates and other workouts that I taught. I also recognized immediately how much the two disciplines worked together and melded into a single workout so well. It was a natural connection and pairing as far as I was and still am concerned.

What are some of the key similarities and differences between Yoga & Pilates?
I’ve always thought of Pilates as: “inside/out” and Yoga as: “outside/in”. What I mean by that is that Pilates focuses on the core and working from the midline and Yoga has more of introspective and meditative qualities that help with stress and anxiety. Perhaps another way to say this is Yoga is a “work-in” vs Pilates as a “work-out”😊

If you teach both, how is teaching both modalities similar/different?
I find that teaching both Yoga & Pilates is similar in that I love to get technical with both and the strict attention to detail and correct alignment allows me and my participants to get the most out of both modalities.

What are the benefits of practicing both Yoga & Pilates?
For me, the introspective approach in Yoga helps me to focus and work harder in Pilates; and the alignment and movement principles and attention to detail of Pilates helps me to attain more depth, stretch, and challenge in Yoga.

What is your favorite Yoga Pose? Pilates move? Hybrid?
Yoga Pose: Handstand (or any inversion!!)
Pilates Move: Push Up (but of course!!)
Hybrid: combining 3-Legged Dog to Arm Balance Chaturanga (that way, I get the pushup AND the inversion in one exercise!!)

Portia is a teacher, international presenter and author and has been in the fitness industry 30 years. The Education Curriculum Coordinator as well as a Principle Educator for Balanced Body, the author of Pilates Illustrated, Portia is ACE, NASM and AFAA certified, a RYT® 200 with Yoga Alliance, as well as a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher and CEC provider through NPCP. She is also a Cancer Exercise Specialist and studied under the Cancer Exercise Training Institute (CETI).



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