Both Yoga and Pilates appears to be similar although from a far. They are similar in the sense that there is use of a mat and the exercises are done on the floor for both of them among other similarities. However, they are actually different.
The following are the 3 main differences between Yoga and Pilates.
The main difference between the two is the origin.
Yoga was developed thousands of years ago. Its practice has grown and many changes have been witnessed over the years; many gurus have been adding and taking away most of the things from the whole Yoga.
Yoga is more than just exercises. There are some philosophies behind it such as meditation, chanting and mantras, pranayama and it plays a very big part in practice.
Pilates was developed by a man known as Joseph Pilates in 1883. George was a sickly child and he promised himself that he was going to find a self cure naturally. During his maturity, he studied many different forms of exercises including Yoga, Gymnastics and martial arts. He eventually developed Pilate’s system which besides using it himself, he prescribed to those that he taught.
The main aim of Yoga is to get enlightenment. Secondly, it is to unite the body, mind and soul. All this is accomplished through variety of things like breathing exercises, asana’s, diet and meditation.
The aim of Pilate is to get overall vitality and health. The exercises are performed with breathing control and are meant for strengthening, toning and stretching, with an aim of bringing the overall body balance.
The physical practices
Depending on the type of yoga studied, physical poses varies greatly. There is use of props like straps and blocks in such forms like Hatha and Lyenger. Other types including Kundalini yoga do not require the use of props. Yoga is always performed in a mat on the floor regardless of props. The poses require that the body stretches and hold in unique ways and this uses the body as resistance. Although it is strengthening, the poses are often aimed more towards flexibility and stretching.
Pilates is known for the use of machine that was developed by Joseph Pilates. However, it is not necessary to use the machine to practice Pilates. Aside from this Pilates machine, the remaining practice is performed on a mat on the floor.
Pilates focuses in strengthening the areas of the abdominal muscles. It aims at teaching the body new movements, in order to tone and strengthen the muscles not often used through a precision of movement. The practice is more aimed towards strengthening of the body although it encourages flexibility.
Pilates is more popular among dancers and athletes through its ability to stretch strengthen and tone the entire body.
Following the similarities between Yoga and Pilates, they share differences in equal measure. Each has its own unique benefits and owing to this, many people choose to practice both as none is better than the other one.