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What is the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?



Yoga and Pilates

Many people, especially workout addicts, usually combine Pilates and yoga. And many yoga studio combine Pilates with yoga, offering lessons for both workout forms. While there are a few similarities between Pilates and yoga, like they are both low-impact workouts that can be performed on a mat, the difference between yoga and Pilates are fundamentally.

Yoga originated from ancient India while Pilates exercise is created by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th entury. The real question is which workout works best for you?

Both exercises benefit your health and will help you build a toned physique. Read on to find out the similarities and difference between yoga and Pilates.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a type of mind body workout developed in the early 20th century by the German physical trainer – Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. Pilates focuses on improving flexibility, strength, and body awareness through controlled movements.

There are six core principles associated with Pilates:

Breathing – Practitioners are required to coordinate breathing with movements at the same time maintaining core stability. Continuously pumping air in and out completely of your body to avoid storing tension in any part of the body.

  1. Centering – The centre of the body, which Pilates called the core the ‘powerhouse’ of your body, is where all energy for exercise comes from. Plus, by focusing on your core, you can not only calm your body, but your muscles will be able to work more effectively,
  2. Concentration – Athlete needs full concentration to do any Pilates movement and ensure smooth transitions. Concentration is required for you to get the most our of your exercise. Fail to concentrate during the movements might cause injury or alignment loss.
  3. Control – Practitioners need to control their movements when doing any Pilates exercise, ensuring they have the correct form at all times. To achieve better results, proper and complete control of the body and movement is required.
  4. Flow – Pilates exercises need to be fluid and require smooth and flowing transition. Every Pilates movement is intended to flow into the next one, reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, ensuring that your movements are controlled and fluid helps to build strength and stamina.
  5. Precision – Your movements need to be precise when doing Pilates workouts, in this way, you will maintain concentration and control. Precision ensures that you focus more on core engagement, proper alignment, and body placement than the number of sets you do.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual practice that originated in ancient India, and it combines physical poses, called asanas, with breathing techniques. It intends to connect the mind and body by holding these poses and focusing on the breath.

Yoga is a type of workout in which you move your body into various poses in order to become more fit or flexible, to improve your breathing, and to relax your mind. Most yoga sessions involve yogis flowing through different poses while using body weight as resistance. Besides, the chakras, which are the seven energy points inside the body, are a major principle that yoga employs.

Related reading: What Are the 12 Chakras

Similarity betweem Pilates and yoga

Before discussing difference between yoga and Pilates, it is enlighting to go through the similarity of both practices.

1. Both Pilates and Yoga are low impact low intensity exercise that focus on the mind-body connection

Both Pilates and Yoga are deemed as effective forms of exercise in recent years, practiced by many people, primarily because they both emphasis the mind-body connection. Both styles of exercise offer a different way for practitioners to stay fit, find balance and harmony in their bodies!

Pilates relies on precise control, requiring practitioners to practice movements with precision and correct alignment. While yoga offers more meditative moves, where physical stretches are combined with breathing techniques to stimulate a release of toxins from the body.

2. Both Yoga and Pilates can improve flexibility, strength, and balance

Both Pilates and yoga are practices that aiming to improve the flexibility, strength, and balance of the body. Both practices have been proved effective on promote fitness, through all sorts of movements, pilates specifically employ equipment such as a reformer to effectively target the major muscles groups, while yoga mainly reply on body weight to build resistance. In a word, both practice are amazing options for giving your body that extra boost of confidence and energy.

Difference between yoga and Pilates

1. Pilates is a more recent practice, while yoga has been around for centuries

Although yoga and Pilates are two exercise forms that have been around for quite a while, one big difference between yoga and Pilates is the date of first appearance. Pilates is a more recent practice, while yoga originated centuries ago, transitioning from spirituality to exercise over the years.

Both approaches have become popular worldwide and can be used as a complementary method of exercise instead of stand-alone practices. Yoga encourages awareness and a connection between body and mind through breathing and movement, while Pilates focuses more on the muscular strength and toning abilities that is the result of controlled movements. Combine yoga and Pilates is a wise option, that both practices should be added to your workout routine.

2. Pilates is typically done with equipment, while yoga is usually done with a mat

Pilates and yoga are both popular workout forms that help people enhance strength, tone muscles and reach a peaceful mind state. Although they share some common characters, whether employ equipment is a big difference between yoga and Pilates.

Most apparently, Pilates is typically done with equipment such as reformers, mats, benches etc., while yoga is typically practiced with mat. Equipment like reformer effectively help practicer to target certain muscle groups, while yoga require more awareness of the practicer to achieve so.

3. Pilates focuses on controlled movement and breath work, while yoga emphasizes flowing movements and postures

Pilates and yoga both emphasize inner relaxation and physical health, another big difference between yoga and Pilates is their separate focus of practicing. Pilates focuses on controlled movements, often a few repetitions of the same movement done with precision. And at the same time, breath work is also a major component in Pilates practice.

On the other hand, yoga emphasizes flowing postures and sequences that flow seemingly and fluently from one to another. Both yoga and Pilates have different goals in mind when practiced, and each workout form offers something unique for every practitioner.