It seems that these days you can hardly turn on a television without hearing someone mention Pilates or Yoga. Articles on both of these movement therapies fill numerous magazines and it seems “everyone who is anyone” is doing one or the other. Why all the excitement? What is so special about these techniques?
Similarities and Differences between Pilates and YogaYoga, as we all know it, is aimed to unite the mind, body, and spirit. Yogis view that the mind and the body are one, and that if it is given the right tools and taken to the right environment, it can find harmony and heal itself. Yoga therefore is considered therapeutic. It helps you become more aware of your body's posture, alignment and patterns of movement. It makes the body more flexible and helps you relax even in the midst of a stress stricken environment. This is one of the foremost reasons why people want to start practicing Yoga - to feel more fit, to be more energetic, be happier and peaceful. The Yoga movements are performed, mostly, in a group setting on a special Yoga mat with an aid of a Yoga instructor. The body's own weight is used for resistance and a great deal of focus is accorded to the flow from one posture into the other. There are many different Yoga styles and they differ in their emphasis. No one style is better than the other. The Style you use is a matter of personal preference or a matter of need.
Yoga Styles and PosesVinyasa Yoga, for example, makes use of modified yoga poses that are designed to meet the specific needs of an individual and to enhance healing, flexibility and strength of joints. The poses also intend to promote the feeling of well-being and strength. Practices may also include meditation, reflection, study and other classic elements, but the emphasis of this branch of Yoga practice is on coordinating breath and movement. As you can imagine, given the scope of practice, the inherent therapeutic applications and the heritage of the lineage, the training requirements for teacher certification are extensive.
Pilates seek to reach much the same goals, also via a series of controlled movements. The major difference is that the Pilates technique not only has a full complement of matwork, but it incorporates work on the Pilates machines. The emphasis of the exercises is to strengthen the abdominals, improve posture, stabilize and lengthen the spine, improve balance and overall strength. Pilates gives you a longer, leaner, dancer-like line.