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Pilates vs Yoga | Flexibility.org

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Pilates vs Yoga

Yoga is thousands of years old with probably a billion people practicing it today.  It calls for a great deal of discipline and fortitude to master the art but even the fundamentals can be challenging.  Pilates is a recent discovery by Joseph Pilates from Germany in the 20th Century.  Although Pilates is relatively new it has it’s documented benefits and one might want to know what the differences and benefits of Pilates vs Yoga are.

Again, Yoga is thousands of years old.  Going back probably 5,000 years or so.  It’s an exercise discipline to strenghten the body and make it flexible and get mental clarity.  It’s associated with Hinduism but isn’t in fact part of any religion.  Breath control is an essential part of Yoga too.  Renown as a major stress reliever and preventative of injuries as it does bring balance and strength to the practitioner, Yoga is far and beyond a major part of people’s lives on Earth.  Add to that it’s also a major part of the meditation regimen, Yoga has become an increasing part of American’s lives.

Pilates on the other hand could be jokingly called Yoga Lite.  It achieves many of the same benefits but is not as complex.  Pilates goals are similar and results similar but they’re not the same.  Pilates focuses on the alignment of the pelvis and spine through core strenghtening exercises that just about anyone can do.  Joseph Pilates realized the importance of having the spine and pelvis aligned and strenghtened.  His exercise regimen includes not only the core muscles of the abdomen but the fine skeletal muscles that often get overlooked.  These muscles are what ignites the overal muscle machinery and shoul dnever be neglected.  Pilates then works from the ground floor up and at optimum will give the practitioner strength, agility, confidence, good posture, and a preventative measure against stumbles and falls.  Anyone can do Pilates if they’re in relative good shape.

So here we see the differences and similarities.  Both practices allow for a better level of flexibility, strength, sureness of balance, agility, and stress relief.  Yoga may focus more on spirituality but that’s a choice made by those who do so.  Pilates on the other hand is just nuts and bolts physical fitness.  It gets to the literal bare bones of muscular development so as to better allow the practitioner to heal or or develop an optimum core set of muscles and alignment.

Do some people combine both practices?  Yes!  Both practices compliment one another when done standardly.  Many people attend both Yoga and Pilates classes and they’re the better for it.  In addition they share similar philosophies for better health such as diet and mental discipline.  Yoga doesn’t require any equipment but Pilates utilizes pulleys, springs, and resistance training via a device called a Cadillac.  Yoga’s pacing is slower than Pilates but that’s because Pilates is a muscle group specific discipline.

So overall, both disciplines are of a major benefit to their practitioners and aren’t in conflict at all.  Taking up one or both is a smart move.

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