What’s the difference between yoga and Pilates?

Pilates

Modern Pilates is designed to strengthen postural and core muscles and to create proper patterns of movement. Understanding what is correct alignment will in turn enable better functionality during any other activities you perform whether it’s sporting pursuits or just day-to-day things like sitting at a computer or driving a car.

Having strong core abdominal and postural muscles means that you don’t get tired as much during every day activities and you will be less prone to injuries. Pilates breathing works with the movements of the spine – inhaling on extension and exhaling on flexion of the spine.  The breath is also used to help connect with the deep core muscles to build strength and stability around the pelvis and lower back.

The movements in Pilates are done in a controlled and stable manner and stretches are maintained with muscles still active to protect all the body’s joints.  Small props and equipments are used for modifying Pilates exercises to make them easier or harder depending on individual ability, strength and injury status.

Most schools of Pilates offer modules of training so you can find an instructor with the relevant experience and training for your needs. It is important that your instructor is aware of how to modify exercises depending on your ability so that you maintain correct form and gain the maximum benefit from your Pilates classes.

After your Pilates class you should feel tall, balanced and posturally aligned.

 

Yoga

Yoga has been around for centuries but some styles of yoga have been developed more recently. Most forms of yoga use relaxed breathing and follow fixed poses which may be held statically or flow smoothly depending on the style.

The physical aim of yoga is to gain flexibility and movement of the muscles and joints as well as to relax the body. Many styles of yoga also include an element of meditation and many people find the combination of the physical and mental aspects provide relief from daily stress even when they are at their desk or in stressful situations.

There are hundreds of different schools of yoga, some provide full instructor development and some are less thorough. Since it is possible to hurt yourself during some of the poses if your body is not balanced to begin with it is important to find an experienced and well trained instructor.

 

Combining Pilates and Yoga classes

Many people feel that they get the best benefit from taking both types of classes, Pilates for control and stability combined with yoga for the stress reduction. Now it is even possible to find blended classes that combine both styles together for the best of both! At OptionsPilates we offer ‘Pilates Infused Yoga’ classes for those who want a mat based workout combining the structure of Pilates with the relaxation of yoga.

Pilates vs Gym

These days many workout methods are incorporating the importance of core strength into all exercise and it is common for personal trainers to take a Pilates qualification in order to broaden their scope of understanding of movement and exercise.

In fact it is very beneficial for personal trainers to have an understanding of correct posture and deviations from correct posture in order to know which gym based exercises can help or hurt individual clients. Although this knowledge can be gained through many different courses or certifications it is best standardized and practiced by contemporary Pilates methods such as Pilates Academy International.

If you work out on your own at the gym it is useful to have a knowledge of Pilates so that you can make sure your joints are safe and your alignment correct while you are using heavy weights. This can help prevent injuries and protect the body against general wear and tear.