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Difference Between Yoga and Pilates

yogaYoga vs Pilates
Both pilates and yoga are forms of exercise and fitness systems but pilates was developed in Germany by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century while yoga originated in India and has been practiced for thousands of years as mental and physical system. Yoga is said to have been developed by the Indian sage Patanjali and has many other forms today.

While Joseph Pilates also called his method ‘Contrology‘ stating that his method uses the mind to control the body, yoga has been traditionally viewed as a science that uses the body, particularly the breath, to control the mind. However, awareness of the breath, alignment of the spine and strengthening of the muscles is a core part of both the systems. But, pilates includes aerobics and several yoga postures too.

While pilates was developed more as a system to help soldiers injured in war, yoga was developed as an ancient Hindu science for physical and mental development. Later, Joseph Pilates developed his system further.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s define eight aspects of yoga as follows: yama (abstaining from violence, lying, coveting, sensuality and possessiveness), niyama (purity, contentment, austerity, study and surrender to god), asana (seated position for meditation), pranayama (breath control and other exercises), pratyahara (withdrawal from the outer attachments), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (liberation).

Joseph Pilates defines aspects of his system as follows: breathing (to circulate the blood properly), centering (to place in order the core muscles relating to abdomen, lower back, hips and buttocks), concentration (intense focus during the exercises and even while standing), control (as in muscle control), precision (exactness of movement and technique), flow or efficiency of movement and use of equipment.

While pilates is a basic set of 34 exercises, yoga has hundreds of asanas (postures) for not only improving various bodily functions but even curing problems. Today, yoga and pilates are practiced around the world but neither should be performed without the guidance of a qualified teacher. Many schools of physical fitness around the world are now integrating pilates and yoga in their courses.

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  1. i always thinks that Yoga vs Pilates are the same but after reading your articles, it has been cleared that Yoga vs Pilates are different. thanks for such an informative article.

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