Pilates vs Yoga - What's The Difference?

September 22, 2015


Pilates Vs. Yoga
How often have you heard someone say pilates is just like yogaor that yoga is just the same as pilates. It drives me MAD to assume that these two disciplines are the same, when they are so different in many ways, BUT both equally beneficial and rewarding.
Yoga has been around forever, well, for over 5000 years anyway and originated in India as a culture and way of life. Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in Germany in the early 20th Century as a form of rehabilitation. Both have evolved and been modernised, but several main differences remain:




Is based on the 6 principles of centering, control, breathing, precision, flow, and concentration.

Is based on the principles of physical postures, breathing, relaxation, diet, and meditation/positive thinking.

Consists of dynamic, repetitive movements that are slow and controlled.

Involves static stretches and positions that are held for prolonged periods.

Strength is the main emphasis, but stretching is incorporated or used in a cool down section.

Flexibility is emphasised throughout with extreme positions and emphasis on further challenging.

Classes are structured and similar exercises may be used but modified individually by the teacher.

Postures usually flow from one to the next with sequence creativity and variability.

Breathing is coordinated with each movement.

Breathing is used to create energy in the movement and positions are held for a certain number of breaths.

Each movement and exercise occurs from the core abdominal muscles.

Each posture has specific anatomical alignment to follow.

Props involve the magic circle, foam roller, resistance bands, spikey balls, small balls. Larger equipment includes the reformer, chair, trapeze tables.

Props involve yoga straps, blocks, bolsters, and blankets.

Rehabilitation suggests a daily practise. Lifestyle choice allows frequency to be decided by the individual.

Serious practise suggests a daily participation.




Although Ive just made the point that pilates and yoga are very different, I recommend both as part of a healthy fitness routine. As a teacher of Pilates I truly believe we all benefit a thousand fold from a strong core and knowing how to use this, for a healthy body and in injury rehab. I equally practise yoga as a student for the flexibility and strength gains elsewhere, not to mention the stress relief and mindfulness a practise brings.
Why not try a bit of both and let them merge, combine, and feel the benefits of each together!
Writer: Tracy Ward

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