Posted on 19th April 2017 by Fiona
People are often very familiar with yoga and what it may entail but aren’t so sure about Pilates. A question we often get asked is
“What’s the difference between yoga & Pilates?”
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates back in the early 1900’s. It started as a series of physical exercises based on the concept of an integrated, comprehensive system, which he called ‘Controlology’.
Pilates encourages the use of the mind to control muscles, focusing attention on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breathing and alignment of the spine, and strengthen the deep torso and abdominal muscles.
There are many different types of Pilates, the most popular being mat based classes or those using equipment such as Reformers or Cadillacs.
Pilates focuses on:
- Movement control
- Core stability
People who regularly practice Pilates find that it is a great way to manage and ease many common conditions such as back pain. It is regularly incorporated into training programmes of top athletes as a way of preventing injuries and optimising physical wellbeing.
The development of yoga can be traced back over 5000 years. Yoga cultivates physical, emotional, mental and social health and wellbeing. The practice of yoga includes postures and movement, breath awareness and breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, and meditation.
There are many different styles of yoga. Familiar ones include Hatha, Bikram, Anusara, Viniyoga or Ashtanga. The styles vary on the intensity, amount of relaxation incorporated into the practice, the flow and philosophy.
Yoga focuses on:
- Broad muscle groups
- Relaxation and spirituality
People can benefit from both yoga and Pilates, you don’t have to choose! The most important thing is to try different classes and do something you enjoy, that supports your lifestyle and goals. Both Pilates and yoga can complement each other well.