Yoga Versus Pilates And Which Should You Choose?

While both yoga and Pilates take an integrated mind-body approach to fitness and well-being, their origins, approach to these objectives and methods differ greatly. 

The emergence of mind-body classes like Pi-Yo and Yogalates can make it difficult for people to distinguish between the two. Although the two can be pursued as complementary activities or integrated into one style, like Pi-Yo, they are not the same.

It can be beneficial to practice each independent of the other and which one you practice depends on what you want to achieve. 

Origins

Yoga

Yoga is a spiritual practice with a physical aspect. It evolved in India 3,000 to 5, 000 years ago. Yogis, people who practice yoga, use breath work (pranayama), physical poses (asanas), meditation (dhyana) and personal practices to pursue the full integration of mind, body and spirit or samadhi. Samadhi refers to attaining the state of enlightenment, bliss, or union with the divine. 

Pilates

Pilates emerged in the late 1900s, introduced to the world by its namesake, Joseph Pilates. Pilates developed his method as part of his efforts to heal himself. He suffered from physical weaknesses, rheumatic fever, asthma, and rickets, during his childhood. 

In his efforts to cure himself, he studied Eastern and Western forms of exercise, Greek and Roman exercise practices like wrestling, gymnastics and calisthenics as well as yoga.

How Yoga and Pilates Differ

In general, Western yoga practitioners are most familiar with the physical postures of yoga. Yoga postures, asanas, are only one component of an extensive system of philosophy, spiritual practices, and science. 

The poses are intended to build strength in the body and encourage mental focus. The asanas develop and strengthen every part of the body, joints, muscles, organs, glands, bones, and metabolism. 

During yoga, the breathing is deep and continuous linked to each movement and asana throughout the practice. Yoga’s extensive and currently exponential growth in popularity in Europe, the United States, and Canada supports the development of a broad range of yoga asana styles, including the more popular styles:

•	Ashtanga
•	Vinyasa
•	Anusara
Hot Yoga
•	Yoga Therapy
•	Restorative
•	Chair Yoga
•	Bikram 

How Pilates Differs

Pilates differs from yoga in several ways. Both yoga and Pilates focus on integrating the mind and body, but Pilates does not include any spiritual pursuits. It does generally increase practitioners’ sense of well-being, but this is not its primary purpose. 

Pilates also takes a less organic approach to movement. All Pilates exercises extend from the body’s core, also called the powerhouse. The powerhouse spans the center of the body from the pelvic floor to the top of the shoulders. 

Pilate’s practitioners focus on stabilizing the powerhouse and allowing other limbs to move freely to guide the body through the Pilates regimen of movements. Pilates also incorporates the use of exercise machines to offer support and take muscles through their full range of motion with optimal levels of extension and contraction. 

During Pilates, the breath is coordinated with the execution of each exercise. The primary focus of each move in Pilates is perfect execution, versus repetition of any particular move.

The Mindfulness Element Of Yoga

Overall, yoga offers more than 60 different health benefits for mind, body, and soul. It reaches into every aspect on one’s life and goes way beyond fitness and physical achievement. 

For example, the mindfulness approach taught in yoga that is not a part of Pilates helps one to improve many elements of life, including weight loss where getting in touch with the true needs of the body, such as hunger helps to reduce incidence of emotional eating or eating for any other reason but hunger. 

The mindfulness aspect of yoga can be viewed as “life skills” training. In addition, this training can help deter many emotional and mental health problems, and the associated physical manifestations that result from them.

Mindfulness during yoga brings calm and peace to your mind, body, and life. Through the process, you become more in touch with how you really feel, and that includes symptoms of stress. Such a heightened state of awareness allows you to better manage the triggers and affects that stress can have, thereby allowing you to avoid its serious health complications. 

Many scientific studies have demonstrated the practice of mindfulness to have impressive and wide reaching benefits, including:

•	Greater sense of well-being
•	Stress and anxiety reduction
•	Better mood
•	Reducing risks for depression
•	Better immunity
•	Better social relationships
•	Improved cognition, memory and focus
•	Improved awareness of oneself
•	Improved ability to make decisions
•	Improved sleep
•	Reduction in chronic pain
•	Lower blood pressure and reduction in risk for heart disease
•	More enjoyment of life in general
•	Overall improvement in quality of life

Why Choose?

While yoga and Pilates provide similar benefits, a strong and toned body, endurance and a sense of well-being, their end goals differ. 

•	Pilates focuses on strengthening and rehabilitating the body for optimal physical health; the mind or will is employed to achieve this goal. 

•	Yoga's physical postures and breath exercises strengthen the body and discipline the mind in preparation for meditation and spiritual evolution. 

In short, Pilates is outwardly focused and yoga is inwardly focused.

Making the choice between doing Pilates and practicing yoga comes down to one of intentions. If the intention is simply to form a strong and balanced body, Pilates will serve. 

If the intention is to achieve a strong and balanced physical body while gaining mental and spiritual benefits, pursue yoga. 

If both outcomes seem like something you would like to experience, try them both and see which one you find most accessible and beneficial. It just may turn out that you are not willing to let either one go.

Published by Henrietta Watson

Hello my name is Henrietta Watson. I am a mother of a 29 year old daughter and a 22 year old son. I also have a 4 year old granddaughter and a 3 year old granddaughter.I am a Security Officer. I also write short stories, blogs and poems. I like cooking,grilling,fishing,skating,playing billiards,going out to eat and going to see movies.

2 thoughts on “Yoga Versus Pilates And Which Should You Choose?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Unique Times

Where I share my jewels of wisdom of life

Grilling & Baking

Indian food,continental foods,bakery,grilling,discussions,recipes and tips

connieiscooking

Just another WordPress.com site

Omphalos Cafe

Life is ALL there is...

The Grantham Gardener

From garden to plate

Miri's Cake Files

The Tart is Out There

Tessa Dean - Author

Full-Time Author and Blogger

Alexandra Seneca

inside my kitchen

Bhooribhoj

Every Meal is a Feast

BirdHouse Diaries

A fun little blog about food, crafts, SCA, shenanigans, and general geekery

Manic Sylph Writes... Poetry & Thoughts by Mona Soorma

Poems, Writing Prompts, Interviews, Resources for Writers, Books, Poetry Reviews and more...

cosmic holly

musings of a psychedelic punk rock renaissance yogini and late-blooming athlete

Mama Adventure

Today is a gift, that is why it is called the present - Oogway, Kung Fu Panda

Donetta Writes

One Word At A Time

Highwaypay

Modern Hippie Bohemian Fashion - ENJOY FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING ON YOUR FIRST ORDER AND WON FREE GIFT

%d bloggers like this: