Should I do Yoga, Pilates, or YogaWorks Fitness Classes?

yogaactionshotI get asked this question from my friends all the time. And my answer is always YES – do it all and figure out what feels right for YOU. Of course, there are limitations if you have injuries, are pregnant, or experience chronic fatigue–in that case, modifications are in order–but Yogaworks offers a variety of classes, all with wonderful benefits.

Iʼm fortunate enough to teach not only Yoga (RYT 500) at YogaWorks, but Iʼm also certified in Mat Pilates, BarWorks®, SculptWorks®, TRX®, Pre/Post Natal, Yin Yoga, and pretty soon the Pilates Reformer. I love it all. I love to see transformation in my students, both mentally and physically. I love to see my students become stronger and connect with their body. I love when I can teach a pose to a student and see it click for the first time. I love when I see my students leave with a smile. I love those breakthroughs. I love when I can make someone LOVE their body and feel good in their skin. Not because they are the “perfect” size, but because they feel good in their body exactly as it is.

Funny thing, I used to hate working out. I loathed going to the gym. I also thought yoga was too easy. Grant you, I had never tried it. I had this belief that yoga was for old ladies who liked to chant and were into that hippie love stuff. Then I went to my first yoga class. It was 2001. I was an angsty teen whose father had just died, and I had the worst chip on my shoulder. There, I met my first mentor and got my judgmental booty handed to me on a plate. Yoga was hard. I mean hard! I was amazed at what some of these “yogis” did with their bodies. There were women in their 60s balancing on their hands and going upside down, bending into weird pretzel shapes, all while my instructor talked in this weird language I didnʼt understand. Sanskrit, they called it. It was like a foreign circus, and I found my home.

In the beginning I went to yoga for the asana, the physical side of yoga, but slowly something happened to my heart. While bending in these weird contortions and om-ing to my hearts content, I started feeling that hippie love stuff. The chip on my shoulder started to go away, and my heart started to feel better. At the time, I didnʼt understand everything, I just knew it felt good. Yoga worked! Years passed, and I was managing the studio. I went through my first teacher training in 2008 and started teaching. I loved it. After a few years of teaching, I felt like a yoga rockstar. Life was great. Until 2011 hit and I suffered two big losses: my boyfriend died, and the yoga studio that I called home closed. My heart was broken, and my safe space to help it was orphanagephotogone. That chip on my shoulder came back, heavier than ever. However, this time I knew how to get rid of it. I went to my mat.

I started teaching at other studios, eventually landing at YogaWorks. I went through another yoga teacher training. I combined my love for yoga with my love for the children at the orphanage that I volunteer at and, along with some friends, started Project Open Heart as an amazing fundraiser. My heart was full, and it was piecing back together.

richardsimonsphotoIn 2012, I was asked if I wanted to teach the “YogaWorks Fitness Classes.” My first reaction was, “Iʼm a yoga teacher! I teach yoga. How can I get the hippie heart part of yoga into a barre class or sculpt class?” The answer? You just do. I found my inspiration in a Richard Simmonʼs class (he was still teaching group classes in Beverly Hills at the time, and yes, he still wore the short shorts). I donʼt know if Iʼve ever smiled ear to ear while working out before. Working out with Richard Simons was fun, and at the end of class, Richard brought in the heart. I believe the reason Richard Simons is one of the most successful people in fitness is because he genuinely cares about his students. He wants to see them succeed. He wants to see them get healthy and love their bodies. His excitement and zest for teaching is contagious. It was in that class that I realized I could teach a fun “workout” class that could make you sweat, and at the end still bring in mindfulness, gratitude, love, and all that other hippie heart stuff. Iʼm no Richard Simons, but itʼs up to me as the teacher to be passionate about fitness and my classes so that my students can feel great, mentally and physically, whether Iʼm teaching Yoga, Pilates, BarWorks®, SculptWorks® or TRX®.

So whatʼs right for you? Bottom line, it comes down to what FEELS right for YOU. If youʼre looking for longer leaner lines, go with Pilates or BarWorks®. If you’re looking to build strength, go with SculptWorks® or TRX®. If youʼre looking to bend yourself into a pretzel while balancing on your hands and om-ing in a foreign language, go to Yoga (please note: thatʼs sarcasm. Itʼs so hard to write tone!). There is no wrong choice. The right choice is just making it to class. The best choice is to try them all and find teachers that you connect with.


biopic1Juliet teaches at the Toluca Lake Tennis & Fitness Center & YogaWorks through out Los Angeles. She is available by appointment for privates, small groups, or corporate events and specializes in pre/post-natal yoga, power yoga, vinyasa flow, hatha, yin, and restorative. Please contact for more information and pricing. You can view her website at or find her on Instagram @juliediane 

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