Is pilates like yoga? – this is the question what both of sports instructors have probably heard million times.
They are very similar in style, both are characterised by mainly slow movements and both use the body’s own resistance to develop strength, but they are fundamentally two very different forms of movement. Here’s a summary of the key differences so you can decide which is the best sport for you.
Yoga originated in India, where it was practised as long as 5000 years ago.
Pilates, on the other hand, is a relatively young sport: it was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, a German who had suffered from angina and joint pain since birth and therefore began to explore the body-shaping effects of the sport at an early age. The sport’s primary purpose was to aid rehabilitation, and as a result it became popular as a method of rehabilitation for wounded soldiers during the First World War, but it quickly gained popularity among dancers too.
2. The mind-body connection
Both yoga and pilates are based on the mind-body connection, but yoga is more concerned with spirituality and meditation. The practice of the movements involves the simultaneous practice of breathing and mindfulness, which makes yoga’s aim slightly different from pilates. In yoga classes, there is a special section dedicated to meditation, whereas in pilates, relaxation is more integrated into the exercises.
3. The classes
There are now many versions of both forms of movement, so the classes are varied. One thing is certain, however, the structure of pilates classes is much more structured than yoga.
4. Their shaping effect
Both types of classes have become particularly popular with women because they strengthen the muscles while maintaining gracefulness, as they include a lot of stretching exercises.
Pilates focuses mostly on the deep muscles that support the spine, so it’s great if you’re looking to work your abs or deep back muscles, or improve your posture. Yoga, on the other hand, strengthens all the muscles in your body in equal measure, as you use different muscle groups to hold different positions.
If, in addition to movement and strengthening and stretching your body, you’re looking for spirituality and an effective way to deal with stress, yoga is for you.
If you are only interested in functionality and prefer exercises that focus on core muscles, choose Pilates.
If you are unsure, try both, because despite their differences, one thing is for sure, they are both wonderful sports that will help your mental and physical well-being. Give your body time to experience what works best for you and if you are patient, the results will come!