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What Is the Difference Between Pilates and Yoga?

Pilates and Yoga are both excellent mind-body fitness modalities and they complement each other. While there are many different versions of Yoga, this is the same for Pilates. This is being written by a Classical Pilates teacher. 

The Origins of Pilates

Pilates is new to the market and has only been around for 100 years. The method was created by Joseph H. Pilates, a German who migrated to the United States in the 1930s and landed in New York City where he opened his first gymnasium to teach his method, Contrology. 

Contrology, now called, Pilates, is an exercise movement system that uses spring-driven resistance on 9 different pieces of apparatus. Reformer, Cadillac, wunda chair,  baby armchair, electric chair, guillotine, spine corrector, small barrel, ladder barrel, ped-o-pul, and small props like the foot corrector, neck stretcher, airplane boards, magic circle, toe corrector, sandbags, and so many more. These apparatuses were specifically designed by Joseph Pilates. The apparatus was first built by Mr. Pilates himself before GRATZ Industries began making the apparatus for Mr. Pilates.  Today, you can work on the original apparatus and specific specs Mr. Pilates wanted for his system at Pilates Fit Studio and many classical Pilates studios around the world. Classical Pilates refers to the traditional series of exercises designed by Joseph Pilates, performed in the precise sequence he had intended, on the apparatus he designed, with the purpose of achieving complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.

Aspiring Classical Pilates instructors must undergo rigorous and comprehensive training and are required to complete a minimum of 600 hours to become certified. What’s more, they must train under a teacher whose lineage can be traced back to Joseph Pilates himself.

The Origins and Types of Yoga

Yoga is a 4,000-year-old ancient spiritual practice originating in India. Practicing yoga helps you focus on a mind-body connection while working on breathing techniques, body weight, and mental health. There are several variations to yoga, such as:

  • Hatha yoga
  • Restorative yoga
  • Yin yoga
  • Ashtanga yoga
  • Iyengar yoga
  • Hot yoga

Every yoga pose and type focuses on a specific aspect of your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Both yoga and pilates help with physical therapy and strengthening core muscles.

The yoga practice has a strong spiritual and meditative focus and ranges from slow meditative stances to a heart-pumping yoga class. Both Pilates and yoga can benefit the mind and body with a focus on deep breathing.

Where are Yoga and Pilates Similar? 

While Pilates uses spring-driven equipment for resistance training, Pilates also uses bodyweight exercises for the mat work, which is similar to Yoga. Yoga uses a mat for their body of work.

There are no poses in Pilates. 

Pilates will keep you moving with dynamic flow. Yoga practices do poses and while some types of Yoga do flow, most yoga practices use the “power of a hold” to create resistance. This is known as “time under tension.”

Learn more about the benefits of pilates for a deeper understanding of the practice.

If you’re interested in learning more about how pilates can help you, contact Pilates Fit Studio at 502-797-5068 and book a session in east Louisville’s, Peewee Valley, KY.

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