Pilates is unlike Yoga. Yoga poses are considered as a preamble to center, calm, and prepare your body for concentrated sessions of seated meditation. In contrast, Pilates was developed as a logical system of exercises specifically designed to enhance and balance the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the human body. In other words, Pilates is not about sitting still or holding poses — Pilates is about movement!
In addition, although both Yoga and Pilates are breath-based disciplines, the primary styles of breathing are quite different. Yoga teaches you to breathe in and out through the nose, which helps to calm the nervous system down. Pilates teaches you to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. The diaphragmatic breathing method of Pilates helps to engage your core muscles throughout the exercise.
The table below illustrates the key differences between Pilates and Yoga.
1/ Pilates focuses on working the imbalances of the muscles – to tone, to lengthen and to strengthen. Yoga aims to calm the mind, empty the mind and to still the mind.
2/ Pilates is active movements. You are always moving with control strokes. There are very little instances where you are holding a pose. Yoga on the other hand, brings you to a pose and encourage you to hold the pose, usually for 10 counts as you breathe in and out. Modern yoga classes such as Flow Classes have more fluid movements requiring less stationary poses.
3/ Pilates is about building muscular strength to perform your daily activities efficiently and effectively. Pilates helps you to build long toned muscles so as to preserve the flexibility required to keep your joints mobile and healthy. Yoga on the other hand, tends to focus on flexibility as Yoga classes are performed without additional resistance other than the body weight.
4/ There are about 6 different Pilates equipment – Pilates mat, Pilates Reformer, Pilates Cadillac, Pilates Chair, Pilates Barrel and Pilates Spine Corrector.