Pilat-Ease: How is Pilates Different From/Similar to Yoga?

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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.

About Heather Neff

About Heather Neff
Heather received her Pilates certification from Body Arts and Science International in March of 2006. When she was first introduced to Pilates she was so inspired by its restorative and transformational powers that she decided to devote her career to teaching it. All it took was a mat class for her to see the changes in her own body in a matter of weeks. She began teaching in 2003 and received a Personal Training Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2004. In her classes, Heather incorporates exercises from various teaching styles to create a program tailored to her individual clients needs. Her experience ranges from rehabilitation to athletic workouts for clients of all ages. She sees her clients as unique individuals and her focus is giving each client the well rounded workout they need and deserve.