Yoga Versus Pilates

iStock_000073516703_MediumWhen it comes to the differences between Pilates and yoga, there aren’t many in terms of the actual exercise regimen, but there are a few subtle, but important, contrasts and comparisons.

They are both disciplines that devote the workout to control. Control of movements to strengthen, stretch, and align the body or, in yoga terminology, practicing asanas, which makes the two disciplines a lot alike.

After that, the few differences, though more cultural than anything else, are again subtle yet noteworthy.

About Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born into a household that held athletics and a holistic lifestyle in high esteem. His father was a gymnast and his mother was a naturopathic practitioner. He took an interest, as a young man, in a variety of physical disciplines, Eastern and Western inspired, including yoga.

After that time, he worked on developing what he referred to as a “system” that would benefit the mind, as well as the body, a fine comparison.

Pilates And Yoga Contrasts

  • To begin contrasting the two, however, Pilates uses exercise “tools.” Yoga is more constrained to a small area, without the use of augmentation devices to enhance the workout.
  • Yoga workouts are more mentally focused, which Pilates are more physically focused, as practitioners are encouraged to keep a fast pace, in contrast to yoga’s more mellow approach.
  • Keeping the pace in Pilates rather than remaining centered and lost in meditation and breathing, as is the case in yoga, also divides the two disciplines.
  • Then there is the issue of the past versus the present, a huge contrast between the two. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, before what is commonly referred to as Before the Common Era (BCE).
  • Yoga has a rich history spanning the ages whereas Pilates has been around since the early 20th century; however, by the early 21st century it had over 10 million followers, no small feat. Yoga has nearly triple the number of followers worldwide, but it’s been exposed to the masses for a lot longer.
  • Another significant difference, Pilates did design the program purely as a means to achieve physical fitness. There is not the same “spiritual” connotation that yoga has attached to its practice.

In Comparison

The contrasts again are subtle but true. Comparisons, however, are not surprisingly alarming.

  • Both are designed to attract people who want to maintain mental, as well as physical health, through an exercise regimen.
  • Both are most assuredly devoted to toning the body by capturing poses or moves and making the breath a large part of the technique, gradually building onto the regimen as strength and agility improve.
  • In fact, Pilates and yoga have so much in common when it comes to discipline and devotion, one can even venture to say that both share the same hallmark characteristics of any exercise program one chooses to embrace, because it’s no secret consistent exercise for any consistent amount of time strengthens the mind and body.

In Conclusion

Yoga or Pilates, hmm? Well, either way you go it’s a win-win. You can’t put a price tag on physical fitness and mind wellness through dedication to a workout regimen. The difference in heading to a yoga studio or to a Pilate’s studio could be as simple as location, whichever is more convenient.

The choice can also depend on your goals, if fitness and weight loss are your primary goals, Pilates might be a better choice. If you are looking to get better control of stress and emotional well-being through the mindfulness provided by yoga, then that will be a better choice.

Whatever the reason a person chooses to practice yoga be prepared to immerse yourself into a program that focuses on the breath while striking and maintaining a pose.

If Pilates is more to your taste be prepared to also strike a pose and work through the “moves” but at a faster pace with the focus leaning a bit more toward physical endurance. Yoga too, is physically demanding, but the pace is not as rigorous, unless you are doing Power Yoga or Boot camp yoga.

Again contrasts and comparisons, subtle yet significant, but either one is a winner when you make the decision to incorporate either into your lifestyle and stay with it.

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