Yoga and Pilates – two practices with a few similarities and a lot of differences! But what are the differences? And which one is the right choice for you?

The myths

Some of the biggest myths I hear about yoga and Pilates are:
  • yoga is for flexibility and Pilates is for strength
  • you have to already have flexibility to do yoga / strength to do Pilates
  • they are too easy – you won’t get an effective workout with yoga or Pilates
  • you are either in the ‘yoga camp’ or the ‘Pilates camp’ – it’s one or the other

The truth

Origin Yoga is a practice first developed over 5000 years ago in Northern India. It has since evolved and spread across many different countries and cultures. Pilates was developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates in the UK mainly for the purpose of rehabilitating soliders returning from the war. It soon because popular amongst dancers due to the strong, lean look it helps to develop. The poses/exercises Both yoga and Pilates aim to use body weight to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, balance and coordination.The term ‘yoga’ refers to the union between mind, body and spirit, which is achieved through the practices of specific postures, breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and meditation. Pilates exercises aim to improve awareness of the body’s posture and its movement as well as strengthening the muscles that support the spine and peripheral joints. The mind The union of the mind, body and spirit is at the heart of yoga. Whilst offering physical benefits, the main purpose of the poses is to bring about harmony so that meditation during practice can occur. Pilates is also a mindful practice, but not a spiritual one. It fosters more of a mind-body connection by improving conscious awareness of the body’s posture and its movement. The breathing Both yoga and Pilates place specific emphasis on breathing, but the instruction differs. In yoga, abdominal (or ‘belly’) breathing is taught, with the breath taken in through the nose and out through the nose. In Pilates, diaphragmatic breathing is encouraged and the breath is taken in through the nose and out through the mouth.

So which should you choose?

Either…or both! When instructed well, both yoga and Pilates offer great benefits to your health and could transform your body and your life.

But why settle for feeling great when you could feel extraordinary?

Practising both Pilates and yoga can challenge the way you think and move, keep things interesting and keep you motivated! So why not give them both a go?

* GLOW Physio offers both Pilates session and a ‘Flex & Bend’ Class, with Yoga coming soon…*

Recommended reading from Glow

Mat vs Reformer Pilates – what’s the difference? 3 reasons you didn’t like Pilates (and why you should give it another go!) 5 habits for a happy, healthy spine!