I have frequently been asked this question whether Pilates is the same as Yoga. Many people often think Pilates and Yoga are the same. As both are focused on mind-body exercises, it is easy to get confused that they are the same.
In fact, Pilates and Yoga are very different.
Firstly, Pilates is scientific in nature. It started out as a method by Joseph Pilates to rehabilitate injured German soldiers during World War I and has a greater focus on centering, working the core and alignment of the body. Yoga tends to originate in spirituality, and may have elements of chanting, meditation.
Because of its rehabilitation background, Pilates has been used widely by medical practitioners to rehabilitate people suffering from spinal and back injuries.
Pilates exercises are functional as there is an emphasis on how the Pilates movements can be applied to daily life in walking, sitting or in sports like swimming, golf, basketball, soccer. This functional movement aspect is usually missing in yoga.
With Pilates, you strengthen your core muscles by working the abdominals, lower back and pelvic muscles. This makes achieving a flatter and firmer stomach more likely with Pilates than yoga. The core serves as the centre of movement and the Pilates exercises flow from one movement to another. Poses are not held for prolonged periods of time but rather for the body to just move.
Precision of movement and quality rather than quantity are taught in Pilates. This means that effectiveness is achieved without the need to perform many repetitions of the same exercises.
Pilates exercises adapts to the individual’s fitness and can be modified to make it easier for someone or increased to make the exercise more challenging and advanced to the seasoned practitioner. This makes it suitable for people of all ages and varying fitness levels.
Pilates utilises equipment such as the Reformer, Wunda Chair and the Cadillac to create resistance which make it easier or harder for muscles, allowing versatility in challenging the muscles appropriately. Yoga is often focused on purely mat work.
Now that you know the differences, come and experience this change for yourself.