To answer this properly, first of all, what do you mean by yoga?
Yoga is a Hindu philosophical tradition. However, today, most mainstream yoga schools teach a modern form of Hatha yoga, that is yoga as a form of exercise. Even in the modern forms of yoga, the teaching approaches vary greatly: for instance Asthanga Yoga has little resemblance to Laughter Yoga and neither are similar to Aerial Yoga.
Pilates today has also evolved into different teaching interpretations, most broadly Pilates Mat and Pilates Reformer.
Stretch Therapy is not Yoga or Pilates but it is consistent with the yoga/Pilates schools that emphasise anatomy, physiology and awareness.
We use some of the poses and techniques from yoga, dance, gymnastics and traditional Japanese exercise forms Jikyo Jutsu and Makko Hoo in addition to our own unique techniques and positions.
For example, yoga lacks neck muscle stretches (particularly levator scapulae and the scalene group) so we designed a number of new exercises. Other differences include ‘Partner-Based’ exercises, where a partner’s strength, weight or support makes the ‘contract’ part easier to perform, or the final stretch position easier to hold so the ‘stretcher’ (the person doing the stretching) can get the full benefit of the vital relaxing and breathing aspects more easily.
Another difference is that we often target specific muscles for particular reasons, for example, piriformis in relation to sciatica, and the scalenes for some arm and hand problems.
Stretch Therapy techniques can effectively help you improve your Yoga practice, or any athletic performance. Our students include yoga and pilates teachers as well as marathon runners, and avid tennis players and golfers.