How is yoga different from pilates?

How is yoga different from pilates?

Physical activity is good for mind and body - how is yoga different from Pilates?

At first glance, they have a lot in common, but once you start to learn more about their philosophy and history, the differences quickly begin to become apparent. Both yoga and Pilates are excellent activities for practically everyone. Both of these disciplines treat the body as one, and have a positive effect on health and well-being. They improve the appearance of our figure and help reduce stress. Seemingly, we all know very well what they are. And the word "seemingly" is key here J Both yoga and Pilates are more than standard exercises, although they undoubtedly are them as well. However, they focus not only on the body - its sculpting, stretching or flexibility. Yoga and Pilates, in their philosophy, also place great emphasis on working with the breath and do not forget that our body is also the mind - a "muscle" that can be, and definitely is worth! working on. Their great advantage is that they don't require any specialized equipment to practice. This doesn't mean that you can't have it or that, as time goes on, you won't want to support yourself with it. But it isn't indispensable, as in a gym, for example. When you get a good quality mat, you will be able to use it for both yoga practice and Pilates exercises. Believe us, it really can be easy J

East vs. West - let's learn about the history of the origins of yoga and Pilates

Ah, this yoga - until we feel like shouting, because even its history seems amazing. Are we exaggerating our admiration? In our opinion, not at all.  We can look for the roots of yoga in the broader Eastern culture. This discipline is strongly connected with the philosophy of Hinduism, and its origin is believed to be in India. The roots of yoga go back as far as 2,000 years before our era, which means that already our ancient ancestors could draw on its benefits and enjoy its properties. The main idea that has guided yoga from the very beginning is the development of the three elements of human beings - body, spirit and mind. In this vein, yoga continues to this day, and this is how we know it as well. Yoga training is a combination of performing specific asanas, or postures, meditation and breath work. Although at least several different types of yoga have been developed today, they are all based on fundamentals developed several thousand years ago. The principles of yoga philosophy focus on several important spheres in life - ethical and moral behavior, exercise of the body, breath control, concentration, meditation and restraint of the senses. We can say with full responsibility that yoga has a comprehensive effect - it skillfully combines physical exercise with building self-awareness of one's body and breath, and helps work on peace of mind. It can simultaneously energize externally and calm our interior.  It is perfect for those who need to bring some harmony and tranquility into their lives, and at the same time want to strengthen the body and improve fitness.

On the other side is Pilates, an exercise system developed fairly recently, in the 20th century, by the German athlete Joseph Pilates. Its history, although much shorter than yoga, seems to be no less interesting. In its early days, Pilates served wounded soldiers as a form of rehabilitation to facilitate recovery and fitness. The effects of this type of exercise were impressive, so its creator decided to spread the method far more widely. Pilates is a form of physical activity definitely more (compared to yoga) focused on the physical realm - our bodies. This discipline combines elements of various activities, including ballet, isometric exercises, as well as yoga. Pilates is based on several key principles, which without knowledge, is impossible to discover its full potential.. This workout focuses on tensing muscle parts for a set period of time and prompts the body to use its own weight. Such activity contributes to increased muscle strength and endurance, makes muscles more flexible and relieves stress on the spine. It also allows us to work on the correctness of our body posture. Compared to yoga, it seems to be a more dynamic system of exercise, but like it, it helps lower stress levels and focuses largely on the breath. It is said that Pilates is closer to us Westerners, as it was developed in our culture. One may agree or disagree with this, but undoubtedly some of the asanas in yoga seem poorly adapted to our bodies accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle.

Each of these stories is different, but invariably influences the perception of both methods. Yoga seems more fascinating to us, and its philosophy is interesting and appealing enough that virtually everyone wants to at least try it. Pilates is perceived somewhat differently - a bit like a form of rehabilitation. We don't connect it to some larger philosophy, and yet we are just as eager to practice. Maybe it's because Pilates is the perfect introduction to the practice of yoga in the future? After all, it took some inspiration from it and is sometimes referred to as "easier yoga."

Find the difference- so what separates yoga and Pilates

They differ primarily in the dynamics of the exercises performed - Pilates is faster and slightly more intense. In yoga it is important to be static and stay in one position for a certain period of time. This element determines their effect on the muscles, which are stretched during Pilates training, while in yoga they are lengthened. Greater dynamism during Pilates practice also allows us to burn more calories and enables us to achieve visible results on our bodies faster. Yoga is not for weight loss, although, of course, losing weight can be a "side effect" of its practice. It benefits excessive muscle tension, and is more effective for working on body flexibility and suppleness. It focuses more attention on the psyche - helping to better cope with excessive stress or nervous conditions. We can describe yoga more as a training of the mind, and Pilates as a training of the body.

Yoga and Pilates - what similarities do they share?

Both disciplines have the same goal - to improve well-being, both physically and mentally. Their regular practice is a form of working on one's own body and helps increase body awareness.  Both yoga and Pilates contribute to overall health and can definitely be said to improve the quality of life. These methods are based on working on muscles and, above all, stretching them. In descriptions and characteristics they are often presented as undemanding exercise systems, but we can't quite agree. In fact, compared to disciplines like crossfit, both yoga and Pilates will be more of a "pleasant morning run." However, for beginners who are just entering the path of physical activity, they can prove to be a real challenge. What else do they have in common? Certainly the fact that the philosophies of both methods presuppose maximum focus on the breath and full attentiveness during the exercises performed. This aspect also sets them apart from the "competition," so other activities we are familiar with. Yoga and Pilates favor a holistic approach to the body, treating it as a whole and as one. They are based on attentive and conscious exercises - so that the risk of injury and trauma is as low as possible. And at the same time, so that you can get the most out of them.

It also happens that yoga and Pilates are intertwined, and instructors skillfully incorporate elements of one or the other method into their training. This kind of practice is definitely more common in Pilates classes, which readily draw on yoga basics. Such interdisciplinary training seems to be even more developmental for our body and mind, so we have no objection to it being spread and widely practiced. And Pilates and yoga are also characterized by the fact that no specialized equipment is required for their practice. All you need is some free space on the floor and a good quality exercise mat. Psst, and while we're on the subject of mats, we at Moonholi know them best and guarantee that they will work well for both yoga and Pilates training. They are durable, adhere perfectly to the ground and guarantee the best quality, which undoubtedly affects the comfort of each workout. In addition, they delight with unique designs, inspired by spirituality. If you haven't tested them yet, it's high time to change that.

Effects we can expect from regular yoga and Pilates training

Improved metabolism, better well-being - both mentally and physically, or the chance to be in good shape for years to come - all this can be provided by regular physical activity. All we need to do is invite these practises into our lives. Yoga and Pilates - at first glance very similar, yet different. They bring to our body (and not only!) various benefits and can complement each other.

Pilates - a discipline that makes our body flexible and strengthens our muscles without overbuilding them. It assumes the activity of virtually all muscle groups and ensures the achievement (or maintenance) of the desired proportions of the figure. With regular practice of Pilates exercises, back pain is reduced and the posture of the entire body is improved. The dynamism that accompanies the Pilates technique makes it easier to lose excessive pounds. But Pilates doesn't forget about breathing. Its principles state that every movement, position, exercise is initiated precisely by proper breathing. The goal we strive for when practicing Pilates regularly is to coordinate the movement with the breath, and to select the right muscle parts for a specific movement. Hmm, is that complicated? It involves taking one position and repeating its principles, for example, lifting an arm or leg several or even a dozen times. In this way, we strive for precise execution of a given exercise. At the same time, we do not forget about the breath, which is the introduction to each such movement.

Yoga is a system of working on one's body and mind. It focuses on responsible and thoughtful movement designed to increase awareness of one's own body. The movement in yoga is calm, thoughtful, unhurried, and this is what contributes to stretching the muscles of our body. In addition, it gives them flexibility and increases motor coordination. Yoga, or rather its asanas like nothing else, can force, or perhaps more so, mobilize our body to maintain balance. After all, without it, not a single pose would be impossible to perform. Breathing is a key element without which yoga could not exist. It accompanies us throughout the practice - during the duration in asanas, transitions or relaxation.

The "duel" for stretching is definitely won by yoga, and this can be a reason for joy, although it also depends for whom. The effects of exercise are one thing, but the safety of its performance and proper preparation is another. For movement to actually be healthy, it must be skillfully practiced and matched to our body's current capabilities. In Pilates, the range of motion in the joints is similar to everyday exercise and activity, so it is also safer for our joints, and it is these that we should especially watch out for. Positions in yoga are definitely more demanding, and on top of that, they are held for longer periods of time. This can affect muscle weakness, and then condition unnatural stress on the joints.  So if you are bothered by joint pain or feel that your body is not necessarily ready for extreme experiences, start with Pilates.

Thanks to the fact that both yoga and Pilates focus a lot on the breath, they also benefit our mental health. They help us relax, teach us to cope with stress and contribute to emotional balance. Yes, this is all due to conscious breathing, which we underestimate on a daily basis.

There is something for everyone, so which activity will be better for you?

Yoga, Pilates, or maybe "two in one"? After all, no one is telling us to limit ourselves, yet it all depends on the needs of your body and mind. We won't make the decision for you, but we may make it a little easier J

Pilates will be a better choice for all those who want to get rid of excessive pounds or...those who have already lost pounds, but have something left - a lack of skin firmness. It will be ideal for post-pregnancy women who have already received a signal from the attending physician that they can return to physical activity. Pilates will help them firm their bodies quickly and safely. It is also recommended for people who struggle with joint injuries or suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Yoga is recommended for people who are chronically stressed, tense and looking for tranquility. It helps to find solace, teaches patience and allows you to control your emotions. As for the body, regular practice of yoga provides it with the desired flexibility. Do you dream of doing twine or want to finally put your whole hands together while doing a forward bend? Yoga is just for you! This form of movement will also work well as a rehabilitation method for people recovering from injuries and trauma. Although this subject must be approached with caution, as such people may have difficulties performing certain positions. Fortunately, yoga can be tailored to you, your needs and abilities. But the most important thing is that yoga isn't just a system of exercises, but a whole philosophy that positively affects lifestyle, including ethical value system. Its practice can contribute to change not only on the outside, but especially inside our bodies.

If we had to choose one favorite discipline, we probably wouldn't choose at all, because why choose between something we think is just as good? Pilates brings much-needed movement into our lives and teaches us how to maintain impeccable posture. Or maybe it has already taught us and only its regular practice simply reminds us of it? With the practice of Pilates, our body's movements are definitely more precise, and our mind is focused on what signal it is sending to the muscles. Yoga, on the other hand, constantly challenges us to do what we want to do. It develops our body, giving it flexibility and suppleness. It also takes care of the mind, mobilizing it to constantly work on itself. These disciplines simply complement each other perfectly!

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