Many people categorize Yoga and Pilates being quite similar disciplines, but we are here to tell you what those similarities are and the differences between the two. One thing for sure is, that you will gain both flexibility and strength with the two practices.
Yoga originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. It aims to improve not only your physical health, but your emotional and spiritual health as well. Since then, many different types of yoga have emerged ranging from Ashtanga, Kundalini, Jivamukti and Hatha just to name a few. Nowadays, there are so many different styles of Yoga, you just have to try them all out to see which one is best for you. Some styles of yoga focus more on the spiritual aspect such as Kundalini. While other styles such as Ashtanga focus more on the physical asana using asana as a way to connect to your mind, body and soul. Through repetitive movement, yoga can be extremely therapeutic.
Yoga is often combined with meditation, which attracts people who want to not only unwind but who also want to connect with their inner being. Any yoga practice also has an added emphasis on breath. While focusing on moving your breath with your asana practice, you will be able to not only improve your respiration, energy and vitality but it will also help you to focus and concentrate your mind to the present moment.
Pilates is a much younger practice, created in the early 20th century, by a German physical trainer named Joseph Pilates, who originally called his method “Contrology”. The practice focuses on the core of the body, working on making the body stronger both on the inside and out. Joseph Pilates created many of the exercises as a form of rehabilitation but also to gain flexibility, strength and core awareness without building mass. Pilates also has a full floor mat routine, similar to a yoga class setting. In addition to that, there are exercises that can only be performed on Pilates machines, such as the Pilates Reformer or Pilates Cadillac.
The Pilates Reformer is probably the most well-known of the Pilates machines. It has a sliding carriage, uses spring tension and has straps for your hands and feet. With the help of an instructor, it aims to help correct imbalances, increase function or decrease improper activation of muscles.
The Pilates Cadillac is traditionally used for rehabilitation type exercises. Because of the design with railings high above, some of the exercises performed may make you appear like a trapeze artist. Many students get excited to be able to perform exercises they never thought possible on this machine. Though these are the most popular equipment used for Pilates, there are many other devices that this practice uses as well.
Both Yoga and Pilates are both fantastic mind-body workouts that can drastically improve your overall fitness and well-being. The main difference between the two disciplines is the ultimate goal. Yoga has a purpose for connecting our individual consciousness with the universal consciousness, through physical activity. While flexibility and strength being the added benefits to the practice. Many practitioners would originally start a yoga practice because of the want to gain flexibility and strength, and if consistent, many would realize that yoga has a deeper purpose beyond physical gain.
Pilates works from the core to the rest of the body. It helps you increase body awareness and can also be a great way to rehabilitate your body. There’s no need to choose one discipline over the other, many people incorporate both yoga and pilates to their daily workout routines. There are new practices coming out all the time, one even called Yogilates which I believe is the combination of both Yoga and Pilates. Either way, both Pilates and yoga practices are an amazing way to transform your body and life. We encourage you to try both of them out and see which one (or both) suits you best! 🙂