So yoga and Pilates, both require mats, awkward positions and some leaning into tight clothing, although there is much more to these two fine arts than meets the eye!
We’re going back to their history, differences, and why people choose each other.
Although yoga is 5,000 years old and some people up to 10,000 years old, what we know for sure is that it originated in ancient India. It was only introduced to the Western world when yoga gurus traveled west in the late 1800s. Since then many new incarnations of yoga have emerged, Ashtanga, Iyengar and Vinyasa are some of the funny names you may have heard.
Yoga is said to improve your physical, emotional and spiritual health, it aims to unite the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is considered a therapeutic activity seeking mental harmony, but it is also a fine balance between flexibility and strength, resulting in stronger and thinner muscles. Yoga also promotes a healthy lifestyle and relaxation. Many people initially take yoga classes to help reduce stress.
It is estimated that 500 million people practice yoga worldwide, with 36 million people practicing yoga in the United States alone.
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The history of Pilates is very clear, it was developed for physical rehabilitation in the early 20th century by a German man named Joseph Pilates, after whom it is named.
The main goals of Pilates are to strengthen the abdomen, improve posture, stabilize and lengthen the spine, and develop balance and overall strength.
There are six major core principles of Pilates: concentration, control, center, flow, accuracy, and breathing. Pilates aims to strengthen the core, which means many people are drawn to it for lower back pain and balance. All principles are taught using mats or through reformer Pilates.
Worldwide statistics are hard to get, but it is estimated that approximately 11 million people in the United States do some form of Pilates.
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Both have a lot of similar movements and some very similar postures but one of the main physical differences is that yoga can be used to improve the flexibility of the body. Yoga provides a meditative environment to improve your overall mindfulness and relax the mind. It focuses on relieving stress while helping to improve and tone your body.
While Pilates works out the center of your body, it forces you to increase your body awareness and strengthen your core. It also focuses on relaxing the relaxed muscles that tense and strengthen the many muscles around the body. Pilates is also known for physical rehabilitation, especially for back problems, it is also more practiced among athletes on yoga.
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Choosing Between Yoga and Pilates
A lot comes down to personal preference and the results you want to achieve. Pilates makes more sense to some because it and its terminology are practical. Why not try a class in both yoga and Pilates and decide for yourself!
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