Yoga or Pilates? But first of all… What is Yoga? What is Pilates?

Yoga or Pilates? But first of all… What is Yoga? What is Pilates?

Today, the two most popular exercises are yoga and Pilates. But what is the difference between yoga and pilates? When choosing, do I have to point to yoga or pilates? Many people think that they have many similarities but they are actually different from each other. They are similar only in their goals that are stress relief, strengthening muscles of the body and create a wellness and better quality to a user. But before choosing any of them one must remember some basic differences.

Yoga and Pilates: The Two Discipline

Before going to the difference one must take knowledge of the origin and nature of both.

What is Yoga? Background and Origin

Yoga is made up of different disciplines that are mind and body. It is an age-old science originated in India probably thousand years ago. The term Yoga which originated from the Sanskrit word Yuja means to connect, concur or culminate. It is not just an exercise but there is a philosophy behind yoga. Chanting, mantras, meditation and pranayama also play a vital role in the practice.

What is Pilates? Background and Origin

There is an interesting story behind Pilates named after Joseph Pilates, the man who spent most of his youth in ill-health. Born in Germany in the late 1800s, Pilates overcame his health issues with many exercises and body building. Since his childhood, he promised himself to find a natural cure to his ailments. He developed his Pilate system which he used for himself and prescribed to those he taught.

Difference between Yoga and Pilates:

To start with yoga and Pilates have differences in their attainable aims: these are

  • There are many differences between yoga and pilates, first is that they have two different styles. Pilates aim to overall health, the exercises in Pilates performs with breath control that intends to stretch tone and strengthen the body which brings overall balance.
  • Yoga’s primary aim is to attain enlightenment. Second is to unify soul, mind and body that accomplished through various asanas, meditation, breathing exercise and diet.

Secondly, they have Physical practicing differences too: These are

  • Pilates is usually known for the exercise machine developed by Joseph Pilates. Even though, in practicing Pilates there is no need to use machine. Apart from machines other exercises done on a mat on the floor. It generally focuses on the core strengthening abdominal muscles. In order to strengthen the tone and muscles Pilates teaches the body new ways of moving. It also encourages flexibility.
  • However, practice and poses of yoga varies depending on the type of yoga. Some uses props such as blocks and straps and some forms like Iyenger and Hatha, others don’t uses props such as are Kundalini, etc. Apart from props yogas can only be performed at the mat on the floor, asanas, poses, etc require body stretches.  Poses strengthens the muscles and adds flexibility.

There are many differences between yoga and Pilates; there is a difference in music too. That is while yoga classes play music to enhance the meditation of the practice. On the other hand Pilates are conducted in quiet surroundings where one can never distract from his exercise.