Pilates and Yoga are often interchanged in conversations in the world of health and wellness. While there may be a lot of crossover between the 2 disciplines, the fact of the matter is…they are VERY DIFFERENT.
For one, yoga is an ancient practice dating back more than 5000 years. The practice is said to have originated even perhaps 10 thousand years ago in India and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways. Many more western and Indian teachers have become pioneers, popularizing yoga and gaining millions of followers.
Yoga is among the six schools of philosophy in Hinduism, and is also a major part of Buddhism and its meditation practices.
Mindfulness and deep breathing are key features in a yoga practice, holding various poses and flowing through different series of movements is standard in most classes. Classes can also range from gentle and nourishing to challenging and sweaty. Yoga has become one of the most accessible practices and accommodating to all fitness levels. You will find various types of yoga practices such as Yin, Hatha, Power, Restorative, Nidra, and Ashtanga to name a few.
Pilates on the other hand, is quite the modern practice dating back only 100 years. Its creator, Joseph Pilates, was an anatomist, an athlete and a mechanical genius that developed this technique for the purpose of rehabilitation. Some of the first people treated by this method were soldiers returning from war as well as dancers (to help heal their aches and pains).
The Pilates ‘method’ as it is known, is an exercise system focused on improving strength, flexibility and posture with particular focus on the core. Pilates is resistance exercise, not aerobic (cardio) although you might feel your heart rate going up during some of the more challenging sequences.
Two major elements of Pilates are core muscle strength and spinal alignment. The basic principal of Pilates is finding a postural equilibrium by strengthening the deep core muscles. Pilates uses smaller more precise movements that require stability of the core muscles while mobilising the joints. Pilates may be practiced on the mat or on resistance based reformer machines. Don’t expect much meditation happening in a Pilates class.
If we focus on the physical practice of both yoga and Pilates, we can agree that they both optimize posture, and increase body awareness. Exercises found in both classes help ease muscular tension and increase flexibility while building strength and stability.
Other health benefits of yoga and Pilates include a decrease in stress and anxiety, improvement in mood, and an increase in mind body connection.
Yoga and Pilates are both low impact workouts that focus on using bodyweight as a resistance. They both target muscle groups that you won’t access in many other forms of exercise.
While yoga and Pilates are both incredible as individual practices…. put them together and they enhance your health and wellbeing extensively. The use of both yoga and Pilates at the same time will be conducive to the development of a body that is strong as well as lean, graceful, and efficient.
Come along and visit us at BWell Holistic Studio to see just how both yoga and Pilates classes can have a great impact on your practice.