Nowadays, many people are still unaware of the benefits they could be obtaining by participating in balance training programs and mind-body classes such as Pilates and yoga. However, the question is often being asked about what is the difference between yoga and Pilates? Here are the explanations and the benefits for practising it.
Difference between Yoga and Pilates
Pilates is a great method to increase awareness of core function, which both males and females need in order to obtain and retain optimal health and fitness. Many of the foundations of Pilates stem from Joseph Pilates, whose original work was concerned with the rehabilitation of injured dancers.
Pilates classes today, however, are not just for those dancers who need their core, posture and alignment to be strong while on the floor, upright, in the air and during movement.These days Pilates has relevance for every person who wants to improve their general health and wellbeing. However, Pilates classes today are predominantly done in a lying down position which may be a good starting point to strengthen the back musculature, the abdominal musculature, pelvic floor stability and give yourself an awareness of where they are and what they can be used for; however, we all need good posture awareness core strength and balance in our bodies whilst we are in an upright position as well as a supported position on the ground.
Training in upright positions, therefore, are essential for everyday function, and with postural alignment correction and attention to core activation, you will increase the stability of the platform from which you are pushing, pulling and lifting from.
So what does this mean exactly? Once you have greater awareness of how you are holding yourself and how to activate your core muscles correctly, you will find that you can actually lift your weights more effectively. In fact, chances are you’ll be able to throw away those weight belts and use your own support system to do your weights workouts – imagine!
Interestingly, while Pilates focuses a lot on the breath, some of the Pilates breathing patterns have been found to be in direct opposition to some of the yogic and chi-harvesting principles that have known to passed on for thousands of years in yoga. There is a misconception that yoga is just a stretch class but, on the contrary, many yoga asanas (postures) can be quite challenging; even more so to those who are stressed or hyperactive as you have combined the breath, your strength, flexibility and your awareness and harness an ability to move your attention inwards.
This internal focus is imperative in yoga practice. I heard that during his training and competitive years, Arnold Schwarzenegger used his ability to draw his attention and intention to the muscle he wanted to work, which is the main point of yoga.
Yoga helps you to train your mind to work in unity with your breath and body; hence, the actual meaning of yoga – to join or to unite.
There are many forms of yoga available today, but all of them stem from the traditional teachings in one way or another, and all have many benefits of healing and nourishing the organs and systems within the body, as well as helping provide a sense of physical, mental and spiritual freedom.
Yoga can assist with healing of many common health problems, including disorders of the stomach, indigestion, constipation, asthma, diabetes, headaches, backache, arthritis, sinus and cold infections, hypertension, heart disorders, prostate troubles, stress and tension.
Studies have shown that people who practice yoga have lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety and more resistance to stress, efficient heart and respiratory function, improved physical fitness and even more harmonious sexual relations!