Benefits of yoga and pilates for health and wellbeing

Why yoga and Pilates is great for you


Pilates aims to strengthen the body, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing.

Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. 

There are six main principles to pilates: concentration, control, centre, flow, precision and breathing.  These six principles have been an important part of Pilates philosophy.

  • Concentration –focus on the entire body to ensure smooth movements
  • Control – every exercise in Pilates must be done with control.  Fundamentally it’s about being in control of the body.
  • Centring –centre and encompasses the abs, upper and lower back, hips, butt and inner thighs.  All movement in Pilates should begin from the centre, your powerhouse and flow out to the limbs.
  • Flow – pilates exercises are intended to flow into each other to help build strength and stamina.  
  • Precision – pilates aims for precise and perfect movement.  
  • Breathing – focus on breathing out with effort and in on the return.  Coordinating breathing with movement is an important part of Pilates. Concentrate on each breathe and feel the engagement of the core.


Yoga is a very ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing.

The fundamental purpose of yoga is to foster harmony in the body, mind, and environment. Yoga professes a complete system of physical, mental, social, and spiritual development.

Main components of yoga include; postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing.

The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways. 


The benefits of both yoga and pilates for you health and wellbeing are endless but I’ve listed out a few of them for you below:

  • Gut health – the gentle movements in pilates and yoga help to aid digestion.  Improved blood circulation and the massaging effect of surrounding muscles speeds up a sluggish digestion. In addition to this, gut health is positively impacted indirectly through the focus on breath and relaxation.  Stress is detrimental for gut health so yoga as a stress management technique has been found to work wonders.
  • Musculoskeletal – both yoga and pilates utilise the whole body.  This helps to improve flexibility, improve posture and increase muscle strength and toning (especially in the core!).  The gentle movements also encourages mobility and releases joint tension and stiffness.  
  • Nervous system – improved blood circulation, the easing of muscle tension and the act of focusing on breath all combine to relax the nervous system.  This leads to reduces levels of stress, anxiety and tiredness, better concentration and focus and increased overall wellbeing and mental health.
  • Cardiovascular system (heart and arteries) – studies have shown that yoga and pilates can improve cardiovascular fitness and circulation. Regular yoga practice may even help stabilise blood pressure.

If you’re looking for some fantastic yoga and pilates sessions then check out some of the IGTVs on our Instagram @willysacv.

Pilates Flow

  1. Destress Pilates with @vanessamichielon

Vanessa took over the @willysacv IGTV to guide us through a Destress Pilates Flow to release stiffness from our back and connect safely to our core.

Vanessa is trained in Yoga for Mental Health, Pilates and Dance.

Check it out here.

yoga and Pilates is great for you

2. Relax and recharge with @minniesamengoyoga

The lovely Minnie guides us through a Self-Massage & Stretch Session to relieve Headaches, Neck & Shoulder Pain.

“Tech Neck is a huge problem. Being hunched over your laptop all day doesn’t just affect your neck but can result in tension headaches, shoulder and neck pain. Give this short video a go to help learn some techniques to relive stiffness and pain in these areas. Take just 15 mins out of your day to nourish your body and make yourself feel good. The perfect mid morning, lunchtime or mid afternoon reset! Pop on some relaxing music and away you go. Any questions let me know. Enjoy!”

Check it out here.

Why yoga and Pilates is great for you

3. Detox Flow Yoga with @manueladiago

The wonderful @manueladiago leads a detox yoga flow to help you relax and rejuvenate.  A supercharged daily dose of wellness! 

Check it out here.

Calming Pilates Flow

And don’t miss our next live on the 10th November with @harriethealth_

Next Wednesday 10th November Harriet will be taking over the @willysacv Instagram to lead a Calming Pilates Flow.

Harriet is a Pilates and Yoga teacher and an enthusiast of all things movement related. She runs an online Pilates studio to support your movement needs from home with a hope to  help people feel more free and comfortable in both mind and body;  to move a little more comfortably and feel stronger and more in control of their movement;  to find a little more space and calm in the mind through this incredibly intentional way of moving. 

This Pilates Flow class will combine exercises into flowing sequences, guiding you through a calm, kind, yet challenging slice of movement that brings mind, body and breath together to help you feel strong, grounded, more mobile and energised.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Yours truly,


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