What is the difference between yoga and Pilates: the essence of directions and similar features

Proponents of leisurely fitness, choosing a type of physical activity, are always interested in how yoga differs from Pilates and stretching. It seems to many that in these disciplines almost identical exercises. But each has its own adherents who attach more serious importance to all movements than just physical activities. In this article we will try to find out the similarities and differences of these popular areas.

What is yoga

To understand how yoga differs from Pilates, first you need to understand what yoga really is. This word is growing every year with an increasing number of incredible myths, assumptions, ideas and stereotypes that significantly distort the main essence.

Pilates Yoga Stretching

Yoga is the science of how to achieve unity with the Universe (God, Cosmos, the Great Absolute) through self-improvement of the soul. It is worth emphasizing - souls, not bodies. That is, behind all the actions of the yoga on the rug there is a craving for Truth, and not for physical perfection, which is just a pleasant bonus to everything else.

What is Pilates

Now, to find out the difference between yoga and Pilates, you need to find out the features of the second discipline. Pilates, as a form of physical activity, originated in the last century. It is named after its inventor Joseph Pilates.

The system of exercises with an emphasis on working out the muscles of the corset was created by the author to improve his physical performance, because Joseph was a very painful child in childhood, not having the ability to fully engage in sports. Therefore, it is his system that is recommended to people as a rehabilitation program, although many healthy people use it as an improvement in physical fitness and endurance, as well as for weight loss. It is worth noting that Pilates was created specifically on the basis of yoga, as well as some other types of physical improvement (body flex, stretching, oxysize).

yoga and pilates differences

What do they look like

To finally understand the difference between yoga and Pilates, similar features should be highlighted in the first place:

  • A lot of attention is paid to proper breathing, all movements are synchronized with inhalation and exhalation.
  • Almost all Pilates exercises are modified yoga asanas (postures). In ancient teachings, poses are fixed for a certain period of time, and in the modern version they are repeated dynamically from 10 to 50 times.
  • Both systems significantly change the state of the physical body for the better - stiff muscles and joints go away, muscle strength and endurance appear.
  • Ideal effect on the spine. Doctors strongly recommend those who have protrusions, spinal hernia to do these types of physical exercises.
  • Ideal for people with pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Pregnant women may engage until the very birth, although exercise and exercise vary slightly.
  • There is no fast pace, sudden movements and high physical fatigue.
how Pilates differs from yoga indicators

The main difference between the two systems

And what is the difference between Pilates and yoga? The differences are insignificant for some, but they are the ones that fundamentally change the whole attitude towards occupations. Pilates is a complex of rehabilitation exercises, that is, the impact is on the physical level, and yoga is a powerful spiritual practice (not to be confused with religion).

Pilates is no more than a hundred years old, and yoga has existed for more than three millennia. There is no explanation in the Joseph Pilates system why one body changes quickly and the other does not, although the same exercises are performed, why one person is calm and the other hyperactive. In yoga, there are answers to all questions that concern more than one generation of people, but at the same time yogis (especially yogis) are not very worried about the physical shell. The desire to develop your soul, to expand the perception of the world and constantly improve for them is much more important.

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Additional few points

A few more indicators of how yoga differs from Pilates are as follows:

  • Some begin to do yoga to lose weight. This is completely wrong, although weight loss is observed, because all body systems normalize and harmonize their work, making the body the way nature intended it. Pilates, on the contrary, significantly affects the figure, quickly relieving the practitioner of this type of physical education from surpluses.
  • If Pilates exercises affect mainly paravertebral muscles, then yoga harmoniously works out all body systems, consistently restoring and normalizing their activity. That is, work is underway not only with muscles, joints and tendons, but also with internal organs, with an emotional and mental state, as well as with the subconscious (at deeper stages of practice).
  • In Pilates, all attention is focused on the proper functioning of the muscles and the position of the body, so that these muscles work deeply. In yoga, attention focuses mainly on the inner sensations and the continuous thread of breathing, and the posture is secondary.
yoga principles

Important point

Consider another significant point in how yoga differs from Pilates. In yoga, breathing during the performance of asanas is performed exclusively through the nose, while in Pilates, inhalation is carried out through the nose, and exhale through the mouth. This primary aspect is often confusing for those who first started practicing Pilates and then became addicted to yoga.

Having learned the basics of Pilates, you can continue to do it yourself, since the set of exercises there is usually fixed, although it has several levels: initial, intermediate and advanced. In yoga, the presence of a teacher is always important, because there is a transfer of not only knowledge at the level of impact on the body and consciousness, but also an exchange of subtle energies. A good teacher with his own vibrations always supports his students at critical moments in their formation.


What is the difference between yoga and Pilates, we figured out. Now consider another discipline called stretching. Literally translated from English, this word means "stretch." In fact, this is a stretching of both individual segments of the body, and the entire form. Some people think that yoga and Pilates are just exercises for body flexibility.

Pilates and yoga what is the difference

In fact, such exercises (stretching) belong to a separate type of fitness, which is called stretching. All actions come down to achieving flexibility (sometimes phenomenal). Twine, deep bending and twisting the body for the adherents of this sport is not a problem, but a motivation for action.

The difference between Pilates and yoga: feedback from practitioners

These two similar improvement systems have their pros and cons. Therefore, perhaps, there is some transition of students from one discipline to another. Some, having tried themselves in yoga, are converted to Pilates. Others, having experienced the pleasure of working with the physical body, realize that they want more or fundamentally different.

People write about yoga classes that it helps to restore health and find peace of mind, changes the understanding of the meaning of life and gives the joy of creativity.

However, these classes have some negative aspects, expressed in the fact that not all poses are available due to the difficulty of their performance. Other disadvantages are:

  • This discipline is not suitable for everyone, since it has contraindications.
  • Monotony that quickly bothers.
  • Dear season tickets.

There are only good reviews about the Joseph Pilates technique classes. Most of all, people like that you can do these exercises at home yourself. It is also noted that they significantly improve the work of many organs, return the ease of movement and youth.

what is the difference between yoga and Pilates

How to find out that the choice is made correctly

Everything is extremely clear to someone who knows how yoga differs from Pilates. The essence of the direction of further movement will develop in the direction of either an ideal body, or self-improvement at the level of consciousness. Yogis are simple to this choice. They are sure that everyone should do what the soul lies to, and the result will manifest itself. This suggests that you can start by trying to make your physical body slimmer, and then gradually move on to harmonizing the inner world and unity with higher powers, because this is how many begin the path to Truth. The indicator of the right direction is a satisfaction from what is happening and a certain amount of pleasure, sometimes bordering on easy addiction (yogis understand this perfectly). If what is happening makes your life brighter, brighter, removing the stereotypical perception of the world and giving complete satisfaction from what is happening, then it is not so important whether you sing mantras, sit on the twine, or hold some kind of difficult pose.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A10374/

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