Pilates and Yoga: What's the Difference?
When I make new friends and they ask about Pilates, I’m often asked “What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?”. I usually say Pilates is inspired by Yoga and if you LOVE Yoga, you’ll love Pilates! Do you love the feeling of a good stretch and feeling stronger from within? That is exactly what Pilates gives us! Ahhhh……
Like Yoga, Pilates calms the mind. It stretches the body. It uses the breath as we move. It builds strength and you’ll feel FABULOUS after! Pilates is much like a Vinyasa Flow class with extra attention given to strengthening the muscles surrounding our center (the abs, obliques surrounding the waist, and muscles of the low back). Joseph Pilates was inspired by many different influences when he created his Method. Yoga was one of the main ones. That was back in the early 1900s. Joseph Pilates was convinced that our modern lifestyles affected our well-being and balance in life. He designed a series of exercises to help reattain alignment with body, mind and spirit. His exercises were designed to correct muscular imbalances, improve posture, coordination, balance, strength and stability. He was way ahead of his time. Most of us need this now more than ever! From sitting at our desk and computer for hours on end, to holding the Smartphone in one hand while texting, to driving long distances, he knew what we needed even then. Did you know that Pilates and Yoga don’t have to be two separate practices? In fact, the two work together to strengthen your core, lengthen your side body and improve balance and alignment. I’ve found that my body needs BOTH. Especially during seasonal transitions. As we move into Fall, the air rotates from cold to warm and back again. The days grow darker earlier and we may want to retreat and nest more than usual. Our bodies can begin to stiffen. This is where both come in handy.
If you’ve ever taken Yoga, Pilates will feel very familiar to you. Many of the exercises may remind you of Yoga and you may have some new discoveries specific to Pilates. Every Pilates class includes Child’s Pose (called Rest Position in Pilates). Downward Dog is part of every class (Pilates “Inverted V”) and of course Plow Pose (“Rollover) and Side Plank (“Side Bend”). There are so many similarities!
Do you have any questions or insight about this topic? I’d love to hear them. Comment below or let's chat after class!