What is the difference between Yoga & Pilates?

one of the questions that i’m asked an awful lot is what’s the difference between yoga and pilates and there’s quite a few differences between them although there’s quite a few similarities in the fitness industry they’re considered mind and body classes i suppose one of the good things to say about both of them straight off the bat is that they’ve been around for a long time pilates has been around for over a hundred years so over a century and yoga has been built over centuries when looking at the differences i suppose one of the ways to look at them is where they come from so if we look at yoga it comes from the east and pilates definitely has a western influence with joseph pilates coming from germany yoga has a spiritual side to it which pilates doesn’t have

let’s start to explain the different ones so pilates is created by joseph pilates in the early 1900s and onwards joseph was born in germany he was interested in boxing martial arts training acrobatics he worked in a circus and he also worked in self-defense teaching um british police officers how to defend themselves he was put in to an internment camp in uh in the the first world war so was it the second world war i can’t remember now one of the world was he was put into a couple of internment camps um and with his strong interest in um in physical training he he started to develop what he called contrology which we now call pilates palantius is actually a teaching method so there are six fundamentals of pilates there’s precision centering breathing flow control and concentration we could really use the pelagius method in anything that we teach because everything should be done as precisely as possible the similarities between yoga and pilates is breathing although the way we breathe is different but there is a lot of emphasis put into breathing which is why often people think that they’re quite similar for me the big one that is the difference between yoga and pilates comes to flow although there are types of flow within yoga classes there’s vinyasa flows and there are almost i mean there are hundreds of variations of yoga the the one that i find for me personally is the flow of pilates in that each exercise has a breast that flows in and out and the movement has a part of the movement that goes on the in-breath and on that out-breath when we look at yoga we generally hold poses in yoga so we’re actually holding a position more than flowing and although we might flow from one pose to another pose pilates is definitely an exercise of flow for me that’s the major difference between the two the breathing is quite different as well so in pilates we breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth whereas in yoga we use nasal breathing most of the time there are other types of breathing that we might use but generally we use ujjay breath which is a deep victorious breath in and out through the nose

for me that flow and that hold are two very different things and two very different feelings the concentration that’s required on both of them helps to calm the mind and the body and possibly the spirit by moving slowly or holding positions it does keep us in the moment of what’s going on and allows us to focus on our body and where our body is at each moment in time that we are doing the classes rather than moving super fast just trying to get the heart rate up and and feeling um that we’re working hard and breathless just because we’re moving so much does it mean that we can’t work out hard in in those two classes no not at all we can certainly work hard so the isometric contractions or the holding positions definitely takes a lot of work and a lot of strength and will elevate the heart rate and become cardiovascular in some ways ask anyone who’s held a plank or a hover for any period of time and you know it’s hard work you know the heart rate starts to beat faster you know you start to warm up because we’re burning calories so we’re still doing those things but when we think about where they’ve come from the german side or the western side of pilates looks more at a scientific method i suppose whereas the poses that have come from yoga are more embedded in nature and spirituality even in the names of what we have so the the swamp poses the pigeons the all of the different names that kind of come through in yoga

if you’ve never tried them before i would definitely say go and try them and go in with an open mind that it’s going to be different and that something is is new and don’t try them just once but try them a number of times with multiple instructors because each person will bring their own individual personality so if you think that you do not like a class then think for a moment is it the class i don’t like or is it the instructor and maybe try it with another one you need to try probably three or four of each class and also don’t be disheartened if you think that one is not for you and that’s okay you don’t have to like one or the other generally i find that people go for one either pilates or yoga some of us teach both and find a great amount of work and use for either one but you don’t have to like one or the other you don’t have to like either of them you may find that it’s too slow and to control for you and you might like something that right now in your life moves a bit faster one of the more um fitness based mind and body classes uh fitness pilates of fitness yoga uh combinations of those things like body balance body flow from les mills or there are certain other ones that are out there energy and um some of the the shift exercises have got definitely that kind of feel to them yoga artist broga there’s so much out there that you can try nowadays that are based around those but might not necessarily be a pure form so yoga has many films ashtanga vinyasa um there’s so many out there that have come from a common point and have expanded into an amazing set of different classes and you need to finally again the instructor that works for you and the class that works for you if it’s not your thing that’s fine but for me the major difference between the two is flow for me yoga becomes more static and allows you to find time to center into your poses to find the work within it and what your body is doing it allow your mind to calm as you focus on the breathing and see what your body is doing internally in each pose whereas pilates for me moves it flows more it’s an exercise in each one i breathe in for one part of the exercise and i breathe out for another part of the exercise for you depends on whether you need something that is stiller or something that flows more you might need a combination of both or right now at this moment in time it might not be the class for you a hit class might be the thing that you’re really after but go out and find one

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