Before I join this Pilates class, I already knew that Pilates is different from Yoga; but I never knew exactly what the differences are because I knew just a little bit about both. I also never have any Pilates or Yoga class. My knowledge about Pilates and Yoga is limited to what the TV advertisement says about it. Pilates is more common to women while Yoga relates more to spiritual life, it’s similar to meditation. Moreover, I assume that those two exercises have their connection to flexibility since I saw a woman that was doing Yoga and she was very flexible, bending her legs and put them over her neck. It was amazing. Then, I decided to take a Pilates class, to have a try (and also to fulfill my minimum credits requirement). I was thinking that I could take Yoga after that.
A light research that I’ve done through Google gave me more explanation about the differences between those two exercises. Many sources and articles discussed about Yoga vs Pilates and I narrow down my research then choose one source only; that is www.active.com. According to the article in that website, there are five differences between Yoga and Pilates.
The first one is about the origin. Yoga originated in India more than 5,000 years ago (Wow…it’s an old exercise indeed) while Pilates began in the mid-20th century. Simply, I can say that Pilates is Yoga’s younger brother J. The name Pilates came from a person who created it, which is Joseph Pilates.
The second difference is about mind, body, and spirit. Yoga focuses on mind, body, and spirit; the spiritual life has a big portion in Yoga practice especially through meditation. On the other side, Pilates focuses more on mind and body. To make it easy to remember, I would say that Pilates is Yoga minus the spirit part J
The next difference, the third one, is about the class. Many yoga classes are more flexible in routine. It also has meditation part. Pilates classes are a little more structured and it doesn’t have any meditation part. Again, I had my version and I would say that Pilates is a more structured Yoga minus meditation J
The fourth difference is about the workout. In a yoga class, we will work out every muscle in our body equally. In a pilates class, the exercise will focus on aligning the spine and strengthening the core. So, my version would be Pilates is more focused Yoga exercise J
The last difference, the fifth one, is about breathing technique (fiuh…I just know that we use technique in breathing, I thought it’s a natural activity we do every day, every second in our life). Yoga uses breath work on a very deep level, there even a breath session called pranayama. On the other side, in Pilates we inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. What will be my version about it? Pilates is Yoga without ‘complicated’ breath technique J (even though in Pilates class we need to master the skill of breathing regularly without forgetting to suck our belly J)
Those five differences above are clear enough to distinguish Pilates from Yoga. In my personal opinion, if Pilates and Yoga is a person, Pilates will be a more cheerful person, a sanguine person because Pilates uses more cheery music and not too complicated (or maybe because my instructor is also a cheerful and sanguine person? J). Then, Yoga will be a calm person, a melancholic or phlegmatic person.