Yoga and Pilates – both sports focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles. Otherwise, they are fundamentally different. Which workout is right for you? Both types of training focus not only on the physical, but also on the mental well-being, but differ in their execution – and in their origin. While yoga is thousands of years old and is also considered a philosophical lesson, Pilates was invented by the German Joseph Hubert Pilates during the First World War.
He wanted to improve his own weak constitution – he suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever as a child – and later, among other things, offer soldiers a holistic body workout to train weaker muscle groups and improve posture.
Both yoga and Pilates involve the breathing flow in the training. The movement systems use different breathing techniques: During the Pilates workout, you inhale and exhale through your mouth. In yoga exercises, breathing is almost exclusively through the nose. Breathing also plays a much bigger role in yoga – it serves to relax the mind. In contrast to Pilates, yoga does not train after repetitions or beats.
The individual poses (asanas) are held over several breaths or carried out in succession in a flow that matches the respiratory flow. In the following section, we provide you with the difference between Pilates and Yoga.
The list of many differences between Pilates and yoga can get long but enumerate a few. Those who practice yoga should not only be present with their bodies, but also with their heads full.
The holistic workout is not for those who simply want to work out or switch off completely. You train your mindfulness in yoga – your ability to arrive with all your senses in the here and now.
Pilates focuses on the middle of the body. Your power center, the so-called “Powerhouse”, is activated during the exercises. You train the deep muscles in the pelvis and around the waist – and not only improve your posture, but also your flexibility. The pelvis and shoulder area can be rotated more freely by regular Pilates training. At the same time, other muscles also work, which makes Pilates a strengthening whole-body workout without stressing the joints.
With Pilates, dancers, athletes and strength athletes, in particular, can prepare their bodies for intensive competitions and workouts and increase their performance and resilience. Choose Pilates if you are looking for intense but calm strength training that improves your posture and makes you more flexible. Before, during and after pregnancy, Pilates is a great option to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Choose yoga if you are looking for a mind and spirit workout that gives you the opportunity to think bigger than just training. Especially people with poor health can use yoga to pave the way for further sporting activities.
Yoga is in the broadest sense a type of meditation in which the various asanas are taken, which alternate between relaxation and tension. It is important to concentrate on breathing even with the greatest effort. Above all, the core is trained, but yoga is also perfect as a warm-up exercise before other sports, such as jogging and biking. In the meantime, yoga has also established itself as a useful supplement for strength athletes.
And there are also individual and small group sessions in which the so-called “reformers” are used: wooden frames with cables and steel springs as resistance elements. Given all these differences between Pilates and Yoga, you are in a better position to choose.
The differences between Pilates and Yoga must have overwhelmed you. For those who still cannot decide, there is also a solution: Yogilates! This is a mixture of both disciplines, which combines exercises and movements from both teachings. Yogilates are now available in many fitness studios. It combines strengthening and relaxing (hata) yoga exercises with Pilates elements that specifically strengthen the back, abdominal and pelvic muscles.
The whole thing is combined into a flowing workout, which also includes breathing and balance exercises. The movement patterns are faster than with yoga – this also gets the circulation going and promotes cardiovascular endurance. Regardless of what you ultimately choose: Make sure you are introduced as a newcomer by a trained trainer or teacher. This way you avoid learning exercises and positions incorrectly or injuring yourself. Because in this case you are guaranteed to lose your desire – whether on yoga or Pilates.