There are many differences/similarities between Yoga and Pilates. Here are just a few:
- Pilates focuses on the mind, body connection as well but it does not usually have a spiritual aspect to it.Yoga focuses on the mind, body, spirit connection, sometimes including meditation. Pilates focuses on power coming from the core. Yoga can but does not always do the same.
- There are many different types of yoga and styles of Pilates and both continue to develop as people learn more about the human body and spirit. There are Pilates instructors who believe there are wrong ways to practice Pilates and I’m sure there are yogis who believe there are wrong ways to practice Yoga, but while Yogis accept there are many methods of yoga practice, there are many Pilates teachers who believe there is only one way to practice Pilates and it is their gurus way.
- Joseph Pilates passed down his knowledge to teachers who we refer to as elders. These elders continue to pass their knowledge on to new teachers. Some people believe that what he taught should be what we teach, period. Many others believe if he were still alive he would have adapted with the times and adjusted to new information.
- Yoga has been around for hundreds of years if not since BC. Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Pilates studied yoga, bodybuilding, wrestling, gymnastics, and martial arts and seems to have borrowed a bit from the practice of yoga in using a downward facing dog-like position for Pilate’s elephant exercise for example.
As a Pilates teacher who sometimes practices yoga, I find that Pilates and Yoga are complimentary practices. You can get a lot more out of each of them if you practice them both.