For some, there are blurred lines between the practices of yoga and Pilates. So we’re here to explain the difference.
The confusion does make sense. Pilates did stem from yoga, but developed to focus on really working the muscles rather than just stretching them.
For those wondering what the differences are, here you go:
Difference no. 1
Pilates focuses more on toning your muscles and helping your posture and very specific areas with controlled movements. It will sometimes incorporate cardio exercises, and can feel much more like a workout. Yoga varies a lot more: they might be intense classes or you might flow more softly and hold your positions for longer, concentrating on strength and balance.
Difference no. 2
Yoga brings in a spiritual aspect and is often used as meditation. People find spiritual and mental benefits, as well as physical, from practicing yoga. Pilates has a more scientific basis, focusing on the body’s anatomy to help with coordination, strength and movement.
Difference no. 3
The way you breathe is important in both, but they use breath differently. In Pilates your breath is used to help the muscles – you might breathe in when your muscles need the extra help and breathe out to relax the muscles. In yoga, breathing is channelled to relax your mind and your spirit, and might sometimes be the opposite to Pilates, breathing in as you push out.
Difference no. 4
Other materials, such as balls and discs, can be used in Pilates. Bands might be used to bring a resistance to your stretches, further working the muscles to strengthen them.
Difference no. 5
Yoga is a much older practice, originating in India in or before the 11th century. Pilates was started in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates as ‘Contrology’. He developed the practice with the guidance of his nurse wife for exercise to overcome his various illnesses.
Difference no. 6
Thanks to its meditative qualities, yoga is used in religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
If you want to give Pilates a go, click here to book online.
At Wolli Creek Physiotherapy & Pilates, you’ll be looked after by highly experienced and passionate young physiotherapists with a range of specialist skills and qualifications. We treat and heal all injuries and pain problems, for all kinds of people.