Pilates vs Yoga: The Differences and Similarities
Yoga is an exercise designed to unite the mind, body, and spirit. While there are many different types of Yoga, the goals are the same, which is to allow the mind and body to heal itself through the practice of yoga.
Yoga poses (asanas) will allow you to stretch and strengthen your body while also relaxing and focusing your mind. It allows you to become more aware of your body positioning, posture, and movement while also increasing your flexibility leaving you feeling very relaxed yet also energized.
Yoga is more than simply a type of exercise, it targets an overall mind and body sense of well being by aiming to balance your mind and body through controlled breathing, mental focus, and a series of poses.
Pilates was derived from Yoga by Joseph Pilates. The focus of these movements are on the quality of the movement itself instead of quantity and repetition. Concentration on both the mind and body are required when practicing the movements.
The main goal of Pilates is to strengthen the core (also called the "powerhouse") and lengthen the spine. These exercises can cultivate a long lean body commonly seen on dancers. This exercise is used often by the dancing community due to its lean sculpting effect.
Pilates is a low-impact, yet often vigorous work-out which can strengthen and increase flexibility.
While both Yoga and Pilates focus on the idea of a mind/body connection, Pilates is designed more for overall fitness where Yoga is designed more for an overall sense of well being and "centeredness" which is why it is more often used in stress management.
Please Note: While yoga is a great exercise and can bring improvements to your health and well being, it isn't right for everyone. Doing the exercises incorrectly can cause injury and you should never push yourself if it doesn't feel right. As always, be sure to get your Doctor's approval before beginning this or any exercise program.