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Yoga or Pilates?

Yoga for beginners

What’s best for me, Yoga or Pilates?

If you’ve ever met me then you’ve probably spent the first few minutes gazing in wonder at my godlike physique and wondering how I achieved it. 

Okay back to reality….. My body can possibly be described as a train wreck, but one claim to fame is that my body is used as a case study for surgeons when they’re training for exams, how many people can say that, seriously?

I’ve always been pretty active, nothing major but through the years I’ve done boxing, kickboxing, rock-climbing, abseiling, Duke of Edinburgh awards etc , I was never actually good at any of them but I’m just saying I like to be busy. 

This is where my problem now comes in.

As you’ll possibly know, I’ve had crohns colitis for many years which gradually got worse and resulted in emergency surgery, 2016, to give me an ileostomy. You can say that pretty much nothing went right with that operation and all operations since then. I’ve been on the operating table more times than most people have been to the dentist! So now I can’t do any of the things the majority of people take for granted. 

I have what the doctors call a hostile abdomen, with all the things I’ve had done my abdomen is very weak and I have a large inoperable parastomal hernia which also means that I have to wear support belt and tops everyday.

In brief, in the last few years I’ve had surgeries that count well into double figures, abdominal reconstruction, (I’m now held together by mesh), a full proctectomy, several stoma refashions, multiple bouts of sepsis and a couple of times where I had literally minutes to live so to put it bluntly, it’s taken a toll.

I have crohns related arthralgia and other conditions that make daily life a bit more difficult. I can’t lift things, my daughter was 7 in March and I haven’t been able to pick her up since she was about 3 years old. I can’t walk very far and I avoid busy places due to my now PTSD messed up brain.

This isn’t a plea for any kind of sympathy though because I have a great life and like anyone else living with disabilities and illnesses, I just have to adjust. 

So with all this in mind I am looking for advice and seeing as though I have customers from all walks of life and I know some are very much into yoga, I wanted to put this out there to see if I can get answers. 

I cannot do much physical stuff for reasons mentioned but I do want to be fitter and get rid of the rolls of fat that have somehow magically appeared.

I also have a very weird diet, there’s a list of foods that I can’t eat including fiber, seeds, skins and leaves and pretty much most other healthy foods, (every cloud eh?).

A nurse mentioned yoga but when I asked my specialist stoma nurse and surgeon they said I would need to ask a professional in the field. 

So taking into account everything I have said, what type of exercise will help me and others in my position achieve the body of my dreams? 

If you have any advice please leave comments below, I and probably many others would really appreciate it. 

Thanks as always,


*Update. A few people have commented over on Facebook and it is a split between Pilates and yoga. One person did suggest the 10 minute Yoga workout for beginners at Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube so I’ll be checking that out and giving it a go. Of course I’ll have Laura within earshot for when I can’t get back up off the floor.

Wish me luck…….


  1. Have you thought about Tai Chi, you can do it standing up or sitting down. Lots of good videos on YouTube. Hopefully will see you next week.

    1. Hi Sheila. Ooh no I haven’t, interesting. Thanks I’ll look into it.
      See you soon.

  2. Hi Simon
    Anxiety, hernia and IBS here. Always yoga! Life saver! Science has proved it literally changes the brain. Take it slow, leave the ego at the door always, meaning don’t ever feel you have to compete it’s not what yoga means or is about. Find a good teacher who will work with you or yes start at home with you tube and build up. Good luck 🙏🏼

    1. Hi Sharon

      Very interesting and great advice. Thank you so much. I need to do something to help and to help with the mind so I’m definitely going to take a look. Thank you again for taking the time to answer.
      Take care.

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