The Similarities and Differences Between Pilates and Yoga
I am frequently asked “What is the difference between Pilates and yoga?” I like to begin with the similarities as there are many. The intent of both is to bring the body and mind together in a way that enhances awareness. They both focus on developing strength, balance and flexibility and are deeply centered in the power of the breath. Yoga has been around for over 5000 years and has a spiritual component along with the movement practice, or asana. Joseph Pilates developed his work in the early 1900’s and was heavily influenced by yoga as well as martial arts and gymnastics. Many of the Pilates mat exercises are replicas of familiar yoga poses. For instance the Pilates Teaser is yoga’s Boat Pose; Rollover is the Plow; Pilates Push Up is Chatarunga etc…
The biggest difference in Pilates and yoga is when you enter the Pilates Studio. The introduction of the Pilates equipment incorporates springs and pulleys into the work. This added resistance provides feedback that allows one to stay connected in their muscles and avoids the desire to “hang out” in joints or connective tissue. It is eye opening to practice Prasarita (wide stance) on the reformer with the springs resisting your stance. The same can be said for side bending or planking. Even Extended Child’s Pose with the resistance of pushing the carriage out has a different feeling.
As a practitioner and teacher of both disciplines I believe they compliment each other beautifully and encourage anyone that practices yoga to come into the Pilates Studio and feel the difference in their body. As a member you are entitled to a complimentary 30 minute demonstration in the Pilates Studio. Please contact Pilates Coordinator, Janice Lotwin, at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule yours today.