Pilates and yoga have many of the same goals in mind, especially the purpose to unite the mind, body and spirit.
And at first glance, these mind-body modalities seem nearly identical. Both use the body’s own resistance to build physical strength, flexibility, and help reduce stress. But the origins, intentions, and application of practicing yoga and Pilates are very different. At Align it’s these differences that give value to both activates, and is why we believe the combo of doing both yoga and Pilates Mat, compliment each other greatly. Together they truly help produce overall wellness!
Both practices are categorized as “mind-body” exercise, because they focus on the mind’s ability to control and guide the physical body. Allowing practitioners to gain self-confidence and poise in their movement, but also in their everyday life. Both yoga and Pilates concentrate on building physical strength, flexibility, and full-body coordination. Also, both apply methods of breath control, which in turn has a calming effect. Each practice provides a number of mind-body benefits, but the approaches differ. Let us explore these differences to gain deeper understanding as to why both are worth doing.
Yoga’s holistic approach to wellness is in a multi-part system and goes beyond just stretching. It’s a mental and physical practice originating in India around 5,000 years ago. It includes philosophy, meditation, breath work, lifestyle and behavior principles, plus exercises called poises. Yoga’s history is vast and complex, with hundreds of texts, teachers, and traditions. Today’s western yoga is a result of merging these philosophies over thousands of years. Allowing for many different styles and levels of yoga, making it suitable of all walks of life.
Joseph H. Pilates form Germany at the turn of the 19th century, created a movement system called Contrology. He developed the practice as a way to rehabilitate wounded soldiers. After relocated to the United States before World War II, dancers began to learn his techniques. They quickly adopted the Pilates system and used it to cross train, and prevent injuries. In the 1990’s is when Pilates really became mainstream, and hitting the fitness market.
Because Pilates is based on rehabilitation, the exercises strongly focus on core strength and stability, correct alignment of joints, an overall body posture and coordination. Making the method suitable for anyone to participate in. Additionally, there are principles to Pilates- Awareness, centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. When these principles are applied to movement, major health benefits are achieved.
With the differences of application, Yoga and Pilates work well as complementary practices. This Ying and yang allows one to reap the benefits of both modalities, and truly enhance one’s mind, body and spirit. At Align we offer both methods of movement, plus special classes that combined the two. Look on the schedule this fall for Pilates and Yoga Fusion Mat classes.