Women’s Yoga & Pilates

Differences between Yoga and Pilates?

Yoga and Pilates are synonymous and are often referred to together in the same category, however, there are many differences between the two. Either one can be a fantastic part of any woman's exercise program and can benefit from both equally. It usually comes down to which one you enjoy more and which one you are going to stick to as part of your exercise program. Here are some of the obvious differences:

Difference No. 1: Origin

Yoga: The practice of yoga originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and has spread through many cultures and civilizations over thousands of years. It was this that caused so many different types of yoga being developed from Bikram to Vineyasa.

Pilates: Pilates is a much younger and actually began only in the mid-20th century. It was created by Joseph Pilates who was himself an avid athlete. It was his experience as an athlete that inspired him to develop Pilates as a form of rehabilitation and strengthening. It was so popular that it was picked up by hundreds of other athletes and trainers where it eventually developed to what we have today.

Difference No. 2: Spirit?

Yoga: Both yoga and Pilates disciplines agree in that the mind and body are connected entities, however, yoga bring in and attaches the spirit element into its regimen. The pursuit of attaining spiritual harmony is a big part of the yoga culture and also includes various forms of meditation. Yoga is considered a way of life in how it connects all three, the mind, body and spirit in finding harmony with your surrounding and the universe..

Pilates: Pilates is much more basic in that it focuses developing the mind and body parallels. Having been developed in the twentieth century, Pilates utilizes a much more scientific application to its exercise methods without bringing in the spirit as yoga does. Women can adapt equally to both Yoga and Pilates and is up to the individual if they want to add the spirit element into their routine. Try both and that way you can experience both and know first-hand which one is right for you.

Difference No. 3: Workout Routine

Yoga: In yoga each pose or posture has a counter posture to create balance in the body. Yoga tends to focus on their "entire" person. The mind, body and spirit are worked in as you move from pose to counter pose throughout your class. It is this focus on all three elements why many people consider yoga to be a "complete" exercise form.

Pilates: Flexibility is an important element in both yoga and Pilates as is strength through range of motion. Since Pilate’s is much more of a "scientific" workout, it tends to apply itself in a much more secular way whether its aligning the spine, working on your core strength and more. Pilates classes are also known for using a number of different machines as part of the overall workout. Again, it all comes down to preference.

Difference No. 4: Classes

Yoga: Each yoga class is very much premised on the style of the teacher and the style of the yoga. Because there are so many different styles of yoga and interpretations of each it is very hard to find two classes that are the same. Yoga classes tend to vary greatly in their routines, postures, sequences as each can be a mix of literally thousands of styles and methods.

Pilates: If you tend to like a more structured environment then Pilate’s may be more your cup of tea. A Pilates class will be a series of different exercises both on machines and not. It is more of a twentieth century environment of apply exercise principles.

Difference No. 5: Breathing

Yoga: Breathing techniques are as important yoga as it is to Pilates or any other type exercise for that matter. In yoga, you will find a larger emphasis on breathing in how it relates to the entire mental and spiritual state of the exercises. Some teachers even devote significant time during the class to focus on breath work, (pranayama)

Pilates: Anytime you push your body with strenuous exercise, correct breathing is going to be a major part of your performance. In Pilates, your breathing is associated with the basic task of oxygenating the blood for maximum performance. Breathing is much more of a clinical and purely physical act to keep the body well fueled.