Yoga vs. Pilates–winner irrelevant

August 3, 2010

Scanning my fitness center’s list of exercise classes, oftentimes, I feel as if I am living in a yoga world, begging for the occasional pilates scrap to be tossed my way.

The yoga craze has officially hit our nation. It’s been going on for a while, I know; although I have just recently begun seriously evaluating it.

While yoga has a long history, beginning many centuries ago, pilates is a youngster in comparison but with an equally active and loyal following.

Understandably then, my mind began reeling with wonderings of the positives, negatives and benefits of each fitness experience.

Turning to the Internet, I was not at want for answers–no shocker here, I am not the first one to wonder this.

Turns out, yoga and pilates are far from similar, a statement which goes quite contrary to common assumption. The two differ in focus, strategy and result.

Yoga is truly steeped in spirituality–with the aim of completely aligning mind, body and spirit. This is accomplished through controlled breathing to increase lung capacity and detoxify the body, posing to build strength and ward off illness and stress, and, depending on your class atmosphere, meditation and quiet to encourage serenity and inner calm.

The result is flexibility, inner balance and solitude with a minor muscle workout.

Alternately, pilates takes no spiritual undertones. Its focus is on strength and building a person’s core muscles, or powerhouse, through isolation exercises that work the abdominals and surrounding muscles.

The result is a stronger core, which brings about improved posture and body alignment. Improved flexibility is not the emphasis, but it will improve.

To sum up, pilates creates greater flexibility and improved posture, but its goal is core strength, with the absence of spirituality; yoga, on the other hand, uses spirituality to cultivate inner and outer balance and flexibility, with an underlying improvement in strength.

Thanks to this information, I now more clearly understand which route is better suited for me.

My next challenge: getting my gym to see it my way.


2 Responses to “Yoga vs. Pilates–winner irrelevant”

  1. rubyred44 said

    i’ve often wondered this. very imformative and well put!!

  2. rubyred44 said

    oh yeah, and i like the name 🙂

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