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The Similarities between Pilates and Yoga

Yoga and Pilates are, on face value, very similar. They both work the body and focus on core strength, balance and flexibility. However, even though some of the movements may look the same, they are actually used in different ways and to attain different goals.
So what is yoga? Yoga is a simple process uniting the individual consciousness to that of the universe. Many people focus on the exercise element of yoga, the asanas or poses, but this is only one small part with breathing and meditation to achieve calmness and peace in the mind much more of a focus. There are many different forms of yoga such as Karma, Mantra, Bhakti and Jnana, all focusing on meditation to reach a higher form of consciousness. The most common form of yoga, the one most classes practice is known as Hatha. Hatha yoga focuses on the a system of physical poses or asanas with the aim to purify the body so the person is able to exercise awareness and control over the body’s internal states so they are able to meditate.

Yoga originated around 5,000 years ago in Ancient India and has seen many changes and variations since. With the ultimate aim to promote meditation and well-being, many people now use it to build strength, stamina and of course for relaxation. The smooth, gentle movements and effective breathing techniques make it incredibly popular and practiced in gyms and halls up and down the country. The great thing about yoga is that it is a relatively inexpensive hobby, with yoga clothing being affordable, comfortable and easy to wear. The only equipment you should invest in is non-slip yoga mats, to make your experience comfortable and enjoyable.

Of course yoga mats don’t just have to be used for yoga; they can be used for Pilates too. Pilates is a workout designed to strengthen and tone the body from inside out and can be performed on a mat or a Pilates machine. As well as improving posture, it is an effective way to lengthen muscles so your body shape becomes leaner. Developed by Joseph Pilates, it became popular the world over with actors, athletes and dancers keen to try this new method which promised to strengthen without adding bulk and harmonising mind and body. Many used it to complement their existing exercise regimes and found it was useful for helping the body to recover from injury.

Even now, Pilates is popular with a huge range of people using the slow, controlled movements to gain longer lasting results.  Just some of the benefits of Pilates are improved circulation, respiratory and lymphatic systems, as well as a flatter tummy and increased mobility of the joints.

Pilates and yoga are in essence, very similar to each other, both striving to create strength and inner peace in those who practice them. Both will increase range of motion and help to improve concentration and focus by teaching how to apply the techniques to everyday life so that the calmness and poise can be achieved in any situation.


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