Differences between Yoga and Pilates

For SHA Wellness Clinic
Friday October 8th, 2021
Natural therapies
While both provide multiple benefits for the body, these are two very different disciplines that do, however, share some similarities.


Visualise the image: a person lying on a mat, eyes closed, knees bent, soles of the feet flat on the floor, arms outstretched in an unusual posture and breathing in a very distinctive way. Is this person practising yoga or Pilates? Although an inexperienced observer might confuse them, the truth is that they are two very different disciplines.

As María Cortés, Yoga and Pilates teacher at SHA Wellness Clinic tells us, “Yoga is a philosophy and lifestyle originally from India that has been practised for thousands of years and that, in addition to physical movement, has a very strong spiritual and mental side, while pilates is a workout developed by Joseph H. Pilates at the beginning of the 20th century that focuses on working the stabilising muscles of the abdomen and lower back. His mother was a yoga teacher, and he took many movements from there, but adapted the postures and breathing to certain exercises that would allow you to gain great abdominal strength quickly”.


Benefits of Pilates

Maria explains that “Pilates can only be approached from the perspective of the body and functional breathing. It provides mobility, flexibility, stability, and range of motion, increases abdominal strength, is good for the bones and improves body consciousness and proprioception, which is the ability to sense the position of the body and muscles. It is based on repetitive movements and, as it does not include the mental and spiritual planes, it has far fewer indications than yoga, making it easier to understand and learn. It is also therapeutic and can be easily adapted to all physical states, making it the perfect choice for beginners who want to get started in any movement dynamic.


Benefits of yoga

The key to yoga lies in the search for body-mind-spirit balance. As the expert tells us, “Yoga provides general consciousness in its broadest sense (present, bodily, spiritual) and strength and flexibility to different levels, depending on which style is practised. Breathing, which is called pranayama, plays a fundamental role because it promotes meditation and helps us to focus on the present moment. In addition, there are specific breaths depending on how we want to move the energy, and which allow us to achieve different objectives. Yoga also has a physical part, which is used as a complement to a healthy mind in a healthy body or as a channel to achieve what is undoubtedly its main benefit: mindfulness. But yoga is more demanding than Pilates because it requires patience, perseverance, and a lot of discipline. Whereas pilates can only be done on a mat, yoga can be practised anywhere, for example while walking, through breathing and consciousness. Finally, I would like to emphasise that movement is life and health and that the important thing is to move, no matter how”.


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