I have recently talked with friends, network and even athletes and I discover this terrible confusion that has been spread – let Me tell you this breaking news once for all :
Pilates is NOT yoga – And I could add « AT ALL »
Let me explain and try to understand why this false thought has been shared by so many.
Pilates and yoga are two entirely different ways of moving and perceiving the world and should not be confused. The underlying philosophies and goals are worlds apart in their approach. The message and technique is completely unique for each system. We could say just like oil and water, these two systems will be in conflict if you try to mix them.
- The Approach
Whereas Yoga is more a philosophical and spiritual approach for health, Pilates is a fitness and muscle training one With no spiritualism Pilates is a body movement method made to develop strength, avoid injuries and get to know your body’s functions better- The goal is only physical (even if practice some activity can develop mind well-being) there is no research of spirituality or mindful theory behind it. – Yoga at the opposite, is an ancient philosophy which combines mind and body in order to get the balance- and to find inner stability.
To Sum up we could say : Pilates is a workout body orientated -whereas Yoga is lifestyle-meditation orientated-
- The content
In Yoga you will have relaxation movements, silence with breathings, stand-up and sit down poses- flexibility exercises- splits, pigeon poses, facing dog and many other posture to build your strength but usually it is a lot of static.This takes a great amount of focus and the flow in and out of each position is fluid. The movements are not what you would call workout moves; they are more like poses that are designed for different needs and purposes. That part might be the origin confusion so I would like to establish that once for all : (even if some teacher- like me- can include breathings and little stretches to relax and avoid cramps to the practitioners) You will NOT find any splits, flexibility and suppleness requirements for Pilates.
In Pilates the accent is made on core muscles = ABDOMINALS. Pilates was definitely developed as a logical system of exercises specifically designed to enhance and balance the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the human body. In other words, Pilates is not about sitting still or holding poses — Pilates is about movement. So, if one of the things you dislike about Yoga is the idea of twisting yourself up like a pretzel and holding the pose, or go upside down in order to get the « saint graal » split : don’t worry! You won’t be asked to hold any position for long in your Pilates class.
- Why Choose ?
To conclude it has never been question to launch any battle between those two, because as we just clarify today they are two different activities with different goals, different aims and different results. There is not one better than the other- It all depends on what you are looking for and what kind of purpose you are aiming.
And even I would add : Why to Choose when you can have benefits from both? Pilates and Yoga are Totally complementary and really work perfectly with one another- So MY recommandation would be : ASSOCIATE !
Practice Both : Pilates for the strength, details and abs workout – Yoga for the peace of mind, flexibility and freedom.
Now I hope : next time You’ll heard about PILATES you will never mix it up with YOGA.