What is PureStretch and Why Is It Different From Yoga?

What is PureStretch?, how is purestretch different from yoga?

I’m often asked what exactly is PureStretch – well let me explain.

PureStretch was originally created by Ciaran Organ – with over 15 years of fitness experience ranging from high impact classes to Yoga and Pilates, Ciaran Organ the founder of PureStretch is very aware that the three cornerstones of well-rounded fitness are stamina, strength & flexibility. Many peoples concept of fitness is all about the cardio training and the most neglected component is flexibility. It is PureStretch’s mission to address this problem.

Tight hamstrings, sore muscles and poor core strength can affect your whole posture leading to discomfort. Increase your range of movement, decrease your risk of injury and improve your quality of life with PureStretch.

How does PureStretch improve your body?

• Improves flexibility

• Develops core strength

• Releases muscular tension

• Suitable for everyone

• Easy to follow

• Sociable and light hearted

PureStretch is a 45/60 minute class designed to lengthen the entire body whilst focusing on core stability. It will improve flexibility, develop core strength and add more balance to a fitness routine. PureStretch classes are designed to be light hearted, stimulating and interactive. They are choreographed in such a way that all levels of fitness can attend and enjoy them.

PureStretch was originally created as a light hearted alternative to classes such as Yoga and Pilates, but using a lot of exercises and stretches that the former would include. The idea was simple, teach people how to stretch correctly and develop core strength. However, it differs from Yoga and Pilates in a number of ways, although all can be great stress reducers and help you feel more relaxed.

Let’s start with the differences between PureStretch and Yoga: 

Yoga is a form of exercise that incorporates strengthening, breathing, stretching, balance and calmness of mind. It can be traced back more than 5,000 years (some historians argue it goes back as far as 10,000 years), and is based on a tradition of holistic healing that integrates the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of movement to improve overall health and wellbeing. In short it is an ancient technique intended to unite body and mind through stretching, strength moves, breathing, and meditation

Yoga is rooted in ancient Indian philosophy, but there are various styles that combine physical postures with breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation, to varying degrees. It has a spiritual dimension to it, in addition to bending, stretching, reaching, and twisting to stretch out muscles and open up joints.

Yoga emphasises your breathing and your body position, while regular stretching can include static stretching (often what you’d do after exercise) and/or dynamic and ballistic stretching, which can involve bouncing while in the stretch. It also requires you to pay attention to the way your body is aligned while you stretch. This emphasis becomes so ingrained in practitioners that breath and alignment awareness are usually carried over into other exercises and everyday life.

Yoga poses are often held for a longer period of time than we would hold them in a PureStretch class.

In order for postures to be considered yoga, there has to be a balance of steadiness and alertness, as well as comfort and ease in the mind, body and breath of the practitioner.

Simple stretching of the limbs or particular muscles does not require the same level of attention, focus and breathing that yoga postures require. So it’s entirely possible for someone to look like they are doing yoga, when they are in fact just stretching. While it can be beneficial to stretch, stretching does not offer the mindfulness/spiritual element that practicing yoga does. PureStretch does not have a spiritual element.

Whilst Yoga is very much focussed on stretching, breathing, holding poses and the spiritual element, Pilates is more strength orientated.

Developed in the early 1900s by Joseph Pilates to help rehabilitate World War I soldiers. Pilates is generally split into two categories— mat exercises, and those using a Pilates machine (sometimes called a Pilates table, or the “Pilates Reformer”). The routines combine low-impact flexibility and core strengthening exercises utilizing body weight and calisthenic training.

Calisthenics are exercises consisting of a variety of gross motor movements—running standing, grasping, pushing, etc.—often performed rhythmically and generally without equipment or apparatus. They are, in essence, body-weight training. They are intended to increase body strength, body fitness, and flexibility, through movements such as pulling or pushing oneself up, bending, jumping, or swinging, using only one’s body weight for resistance; usually conducted in concert with stretches. When performed vigorously and with variety, calisthenics can provide the benefits of muscular and aerobic conditioning, in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination.

Yoga’s proven to be especially effective for mental and emotional rehab, while Pilates is used more often for physical rehabilitation. And with good reason— Pilates has been shown to improve upper body and core muscle endurance and flexibility, while yoga can improve mental and emotional health by calming the sympathetic nervous system (which controls stress levels) and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (which regulates hormone levels).

Yoga’s the go-to choice for stress relief and a mind-body workout, while Pilates is typically better for strictly strengthening muscle.

PureStretch is a mix of both Yoga and Pilates. Using the stretching, joint opening moves of Yoga, mixed with the strengthening exercises of Pilates. So the perfect combination of both to give an all over low impact workout. Whilst not a hot and sweaty workout, you will feel that you have worked and will feel 10 times taller at the end of your class!

To book your place please contact Debbie Brown on 07789 664451 or email on debbiebrown@healthilytoned.com – I look forward to seeing you in classes!