Because both Yoga and Pilates involve similar exercises, many people confuse the two. However, in spite of the similarities, yoga and Pilates have several distinct differences that set them apart. In the next few minutes, you will be able to find out if you are more yoga or more Pilates.
But let’s start by first understanding yoga and Pilates.
What Is Yoga?
Many definitions of yoga exist. In Sanskrit, yoga is referred to as union or connection. The union referred to is that of the body, mind, spirit and the general existence or universe. This suggests that yoga uses the various poses and approaches to achieve union or connection.
There are other definitions, but because they suggest a similar thing, let us stick with the Sanskrit definition for now.
To achieve union or connection, yoga employs various approaches, themselves constituting the many types of yoga. These practices tend to have their definitions of yoga. However, they point to a system that brings together the various parts of the self together and ultimately connects this with the universal Being.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is defined as a physical fitness practice developed by Joseph Pilates in the twentieth century. Pilates is practiced by millions of people in America and other western countries. The practice is mainly focused on strengthening the abdominal muscles, the spine and improving posture.
Origin and History
The starting point is the origin and age of the two.
Yoga was founded in India where it was practiced for thousands of years before its export to the rest of the world. Over the years, yoga has evolved and expanded into many types. Its spread across the world means that it is practiced by millions of people today. Some of the better-known types of yoga include:
Pilates is relatively new. It was founded in the first half of the 20th century by one Joseph Pilates, a German athlete. Pilates was developed for the purpose of strengthening and rehabilitating the body. Through the second half of the 20th century, Pilates’ popularity grew and spread to various parts of the world notably the western countries. The popularity of Pilates was helped by its adoption by musicians in dance training to enable them to improve stamina on and off stage.
Pilates is founded on the following six main principles:
Objectives of Yoga vs. Pilates
The main objective of yoga is to achieve balance in the whole person. This is achieved by carrying out various body movements and poses and meditation. The result is that the three parts of the person namely mind, body and spirit are awakened in a fusion or union within the totality of the universe.
The objective of Pilates is to gain strength and flow by exercising the body and applying the mind. The resultant strength and flow are then applied to day-to-day activities.
Equipment and Props in Practice
In yoga, only a mat is used when a person exercises the body and mind with the body providing resistance during exercises.
When one works out in Pilates, a mat is used alright. However, other equipment such as exercise machines may be used to provide more resistance during exercise.
Yoga vs. Pilates Classes
In a class of yoga, the individual teacher and the type of yoga that you intend to learn and practice will determine the training routine. This means that yoga training does not follow a specific training routine across a board. The main reason for this is the wide variety of types of yoga.
A class of Pilates is different. Perhaps due to its relatively short period of existence, Pilates has a well-structured training program that is observed in most classes. This means that a new student can expect to go through a similar class in one place as another.
Working Out in Yoga vs. Pilates
In yoga, the workouts are aimed at achieving balance, with practically every muscle in the body being worked. This is achieved through use of postures and counter postures so that while some muscles are stretched in one yoga pose, others are stretched in another. This way, yoga exercises and poses work on the whole body besides the mind and spirit which benefit from meditation.
In Pilates workouts, an emphasis is on strengthening the spine and the core as these are the foundation of the body. This is carried out by working out on mats and in some instances, using exercise equipment.
Similarities Between Yoga and Pilates
Even though yoga and Pilates are different, the two have many similarities. Some of these include the following:
- Both yoga and Pilates workouts lead to strengthening and improving flexibility in the body.
- In both yoga and Pilates, breathing is incorporated in the practices.
- Workouts both in yoga and Pilates can be learned or practiced beginning with the simplest and going on to the more challenging. In the case of yoga, though, this applies where a practitioner chooses a type of yoga that involves the physically challenging poses.
Having had this walkthrough in both yoga and Pilates, it is now easier for you to choose whether your intention is more yoga or more Pilates.
To recap, and to help you decide whether you are more yoga or more Pilates, remember that:
Yoga is a practice that is directed at the unity of body, mind, and soul to achieve overall balance. By concentrating on the body, mind, and soul, yoga leads to a more wholesome individual who is more in connection with the universe. It is worth noting that yoga helps in relieving stress.
Pilates is a practice aimed at working out the mind and body through regimented exercises that help the practitioner to develop strength and flexibility. Pilates leads the practitioner to develop more strength in the core and spine and the body in general.
Will You Pick Yoga or Pilates?
This discussion has gone behind the scenes to examine yoga and Pilates so that you can better understand them so that you make a decision. But don’t worry if you are not sure which one to choose. After all, you can practice them both together. Better still, you can practice yoga and Pilates separately before settling for either. Whichever you choose, spare a moment to tell us about it here.
So, now that you have good knowledge of what yoga and Pilates involve, we go back to our question, are you more yoga or more Pilates?