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Yoga and Pilates: differences and similarities


Exercising is a good way to keep your body healthy and stay agile and youthful for longer. Some disciplines, in addition to exercising the body, help to achieve a good mental balance, to relax and to harmonize both parts of the organism . Yoga and Pilates are two good practices to be able to stretch the body and relax at the same time, both disciplines have as many similarities as differences. We will discuss both below.

What are the differences between yoga and Pilates?

Although they are two disciplines that fall within the same style of exercise, both have too many differences to be unique by themselves . The approach of each one, as well as their way of developing the exercises, and even the objectives that are sought are certainly different. Therefore, its characteristics must be known in depth before opting for one or the other practice.

What is yoga

It is a discipline originating in India , which is related to the meditation practices of Hinduism, Buddhism and Janism. It means union, union between the body and the mind, the search for balance between both, of the individual soul with the collective, or divinity (Shiva, Kali, Brahman, Visnú etc …)

There are different types of this oriental discipline , some more focused on the realization of postures and others more focused on the practice of meditation. Although this discipline is usually defined, in its entirety, as a set of concentration practices that are carried out to achieve good physical and mental control , it is true that there are very marked differences between each of its styles. Among the most common are the Raja, Hatha, Bikram, Kundalini, Iyengar, Nidra, or Sivananda, each with its own way of putting it into practice, although all with the same objective.

The benefits of its practice are numerous, in addition to those mentioned above, it also improves self-knowledge, which increases confidence in one’s own abilities and favors interpersonal relationships . In addition, it helps to lose weight and improves the immune system. It is an excellent practice to reduce and prevent stress and anxiety, as well as to learn to control it in times of high tension.

What is pilatePilates is a set of exercises that, like the previous one, seeks to achieve a balance between the body and the mind to keep both strong and healthy. Its creator, Joseph Hubertus Pilates, invented it by combining different characteristics of traditional gymnastics with yoga and trauma, as well as with mind control, relaxation and muscle exercises.

This practice is based on developing the muscles to achieve a good balance of the body and to provide the spine with firmness and stability . It is very useful to heal and prevent back pain, as well as certain muscle aches, which improve thanks to its stretching.

Pilates has become notably popular thanks to the fact that many celebrities have made its practice public, as well as the rapid and remarkable results it brings.

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Practical differences

Although both practices share similarities and have many benefits, both are perfect for strengthening the body, achieving an effective postural reeducation and increasing flexibility , they have notable differences. Both meditation and Pilates focus on controlling the breath to perform the exercises, although their use of it differs. Likewise, both are very beneficial for the health of the pelvic floor, highly recommended for women of all ages, especially after they have been mothers or entering their maturity.

In the oriental discipline, the physical part of the exercise is but a minimal aspect of all its practice . The body is used to harmonize the mind and spirit. While in Pilates, the exercises do seek to strengthen the body and work the muscles , both of the back and the rest of the body.

Yoga and Pilates can be done on a mat in a center, gym, or at home. However, one of the Pilates modalities includes some machines for its practice, which is more related to weight work than to that of the oriental technique. The version with machines must be carried out in a specialized center, since it is difficult to have this equipment at home; Pilates exercises do not shorten muscles, as with traditional weights.

It could be thought that the meditation of the oriental practice is a much more static and gentle technique than Pilates, however, depending on the style that is performed, it can be an exercise of considerable intensity. Although this practice does not seek muscle strength, but to calm the mind to start it on the path of meditation, its postures and movements have been shown to help develop muscles and gain strength in a remarkable way.

Practicing yoga is a much more complete activity , since it affects both the body and the mental aspect of the person, it is an activity of deep work and introspection to get to know oneself. Practicing Pilates, for its part, may not be as complete as doing yoga, but it has the advantage that it significantly improves physical condition, with special emphasis on the abdomen and pelvic area. With yoga, the practitioner also embarks on a spiritual , even religious journey ; Pilates, however, is much more prosaic and is based solely on the performance of its exercises, leaving aside the deep reflection and introspection of the oriental discipline.

Whichever you choose, both practices provide numerous health benefits , help you face your day with greater energy and mitigate the stress that routine entails. Yoga and Pilates are two very good options to keep the body healthy and achieve balance and harmony with the mind, thanks to their continuous and constant practice.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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