Are you a stressed out professional or parent with a busy lifestyle? When life is busy, it can be difficult to find time to exercise or take up hobbies, but it’s important to look after both your mind and your body or you will become overwhelmed. Yoga and Pilates are two popular forms of exercise that also help to boost your mental health and immune system. It’s tempting to flop onto the couch after a hard day at the office, but even ten or fifteen minutes of exercise daily will do much more than keep your weight and health in check. Exercise, even though you’re using energy to do it, can actually make you feel more energetic and ready to face the challenge of balancing your daily life.
However, with all of the health, diet, and exercise that make the rounds, it’s difficult to know what to choose. Are yoga and Pilates similar, or do they have some key differences? The short answer is that they’re different, but both have their benefits. Let’s examine the basics of each, and then consider some key differences so that you can decide which is right for you:
The Basics of Yoga
Yoga isn’t just an exercise for trendy hipsters; it is actually a form of spirituality. Understanding the basics of yoga requires a comprehension of the fact that yoga poses are essentially spiritual techniques that aim to bring the mind, body, and spirit together. The mind is our rational and intellectual thought processes, the body is our physical being, and the spirit is synonymous with the Western conception of the soul, heart, or what makes us human. The core function of yoga is to make sure these three components work together in harmony.
Yoga was first developed over five thousand years ago in Northern India and recorded in ‘The Vedas,’ a collection of texts that contained a mix of rituals, songs and mantras used by Vedic priests. These initial texts were adapted and developed by mystic seers who lived before the time of Christ, and the teachings have gradually made their way into Western culture when yoga masters began to travel during the nineteenth century.
The yoga that is popular in today’s culture is ‘Hatha Yoga’, one of many different paths of yoga. This form first came to be well known in 1947 when Indra Devi opened a yoga studio in Hollywood.
The Basics of Pilates
Pilates gets its name from the person who invented it: Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates was an inspirational figure who began to take exercise very seriously due to his sickly nature as a child. Pilates was determined to make himself fit and healthy in order to improve the quality of his life. As a result, he took up bodybuilding in his teens, and he took it to such a level that he was regarded as an excellent specimen of human anatomy. He actually got work as a model for anatomical drawings, highlighting his strong commitment to toning and improving his physique.
Born in Germany, Pilates left his home country and moved to Britain. During the outbreak of the first world war, he was interned as a German enemy alien. During this time, he began to devise new methods of exercise and body conditioning. His thought processes during this time resulted in the creation of the Pilates we know today.
Key Differences Between Yoga and Pilates
There are a number of key differences between yoga and Pilates. First, the origin of each form of exercise is very different: one is an ancient practice, while the other is relatively modern. While yoga was slowly modified over thousands of years and cannot be credited to a single person, Pilates is the life work of one individual.
Another key difference between yoga and Pilates is the philosophy behind each. The philosophy behind yoga is a spiritual and somewhat religious experience that results in an alliance between the mind, body, and spirit. Conversely, the philosophy behind Pilates is much more grounded in self-improvement on solely a physical level. One of the key components of Pilates is core strength, as well as muscle toning and overall control of the body. The best way to remember this key difference is to appreciate that yoga is spirituality with the added benefit of physical improvement, while Pilates is physical improvement first and foremost.
Finally, yoga and Pilates differ in the movements and exercises that are performed. Yoga prioritizes flexibility and the utilization of broad muscle groups, while Pilates is a more structured workout. Yoga is a form of exercise that will gradually improve your overall health, while Pilates is perfect for wanting to really take your physical improvement to the next level.