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Yoga and Pilates

Have experienced a resurgence in interest in the last few years. Both forms of exercise offer time proven methods that are very beneficial. Determining which form of exercise is best for you is a matter of personal goals and personal interest. In this article we will learn the differences between yoga and pilates and how they are also the perfect compliment for each other.

yoga and pilatesPilates

Joseph Pilates is the father of Pilates. He developed the system in the early 20th century in Germany. Joseph Pilates first called his exercise “Contrology” which means that the mind can control the body. When Joseph Pilates moved to New York the dance community embraced this new form of exercise. Core muscle development is its primary focus. Pilates can be done on a mat or with the use of specialized machines such as a Reformer. Many who have mastered Pilates develop long lean muscles.

There are six principles of Pilates (introduced by students of Joseph Pilates): and these are shown to be :

Concentration

Intense focus and concentration is required to get the full benefits from this exercise.

Control

Complete control of every movement is the goal.

Centering

The area between the ribs and pubic bone is the center,also known as the powerhouse. Movements begin at the powerhouse and flows to the limbs.

Flow or efficiency of movement

Once mastered, the movements in Pilates should flow smoothly from one position or extension.

Precision

Correct movements. Precise movements and alignment.

Breathing

Full inhalation and forced exhalation. Proper breathing is a central part of Pilates.

Yoga

The word yoga means unity or yoke (to bind). The objective of yoga is to unite the mind, body and spirit through a practice of breathing (Pranayama) and poses (asanas).

Pilates has 34 basic yoga exercises while yoga has hundreds of asanas (postures).

Pilates has six principles and yoga has eight. They are referred to as limbs or paths. The first five principles guide the student away from an outward focus to an inner focus. The eight limbs of yoga are:

  • Yama-abstaining from possessiveness, coveting,lying,violence and sensuality.
  • Niyama-contentment,purity,surrender to God,austerity
  • Asana- 84 postures that strengthen the body and facilitates meditation
  • Pranayama-controlled breathing
  • Pratyahara-withdrawl of sensory stimulation and redirected focus internally.
  • Dharana-concentration
  • Dhynana-meditation
  • Samadhi-Culmination or completion on the path of the yogi. Enlightenment or peace, being one with the universe.

There’s no need to make a decision on Yoga vs Pilates. One benefit of incorporating yoga and pilates is the development of lean and strong bodies. Pilates stabilizes and improves the spine along with improved balance and strength.

Bottom Line is that we can all benefit from yoga and pilates and that one or the other will be your choice for practise and health, however keep in mind that you may well benefit form both and to be fair they can and should be fitted into to your health and fitness programs.

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