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Pilates and Yoga are the same right? No, not really but they do go together nicely.

Posted Nov 05 2012 3:08pm

Yesterday I was at a meeting and was asked what I do for a living and when I responded saying that I am a Pilates teacher the woman said oh that's just like yoga, right?

First, let me describe Pilates a bit. The Pilates Method Alliance describes Pilates as, "a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body."

Pilates programs are built specifically for the client and can span the spectrum all the way from post-rehabilitative, therapeutic exercises to a very athletic, quick and dynamic workout. 

Yoga and Pilates are both mind/body focused disciplines. Mind/body meaning a form of exercise that integrates the transformation of not only your body but of your mind and spirit as well.  Both focus on strength and flexibility and enhance your overall well-being. To me Yoga has a much a much more spiritual focus in its practices and it attempts to bring consciousness through movement and breath. Where Pilates is more geared towards the functional aspect of training and improving daily body mechanics, while also using breath.The practice of Yoga is done without the help of machines, only the help of blocks and stretching straps to enhance and better your form in movement.  Pilates can be done without equipment or using many different types of equipment, very large to very small.

The two forms of exercise compliment each other quite nicely.  I find that my Pilates practice allows me to build strength (especially core strength) and awareness through feedback from the teacher and from the assistance of the equipment that in turn my yoga practice is bettered.  Vice versa, through yoga I am able to increase my flexible by holding the positions for a longer period of time, through repetition, and the deepening of each position that in turn my Pilates practice is enhanced and I am able to get into exercises with more ease and less discomfort.

So I encourage clients and friends to try both because they are similar in some ways yet very different and you may love both or like one and not the other.  In my opinion everyone should do some form of mind/body exercise as a means of cross-training, injury prevention, to better your performance in daily activities and sport, improve overall mental and physical well-being, and both are activities that span all ages and can be done with lots of modifications and progressions to fit your needs.
Thought I'd share a few pictures of Pilates equipment to get you even more intrigued...

Cadillac. Picture from Balanced Body.

Fletcher Reformer. Picture from Balanced Body.

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