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Yoga vs. Pilates

Learn the differences between yoga and Pilates from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.


So what is the difference between Yoga and Pilates? We get asked this question a lot. So, Yoga and Pilates are actually--let's talk about the similarities, first of all. They're both mind-body modalities. I kind of like to think of Yoga and Pilates as like siblings.

So there's two different kids in the same family, but they have a different way of going about things. And working together, you get a whole, well-rounded picture.

So, Pilates focuses on spinal articulation. We have a thicker mat because we spend a lot of time rolling the spine up and down. The Yoga asanas, or poses, mainly start standing, which is where Pilates ends, and tends to use more upright posture, more overhead postures, things like that. So, Yoga can benefit Pilates, in terms of its flexibility benefits. Pilates can benefit Yoga because of its core strength benefits.

The other thing that's different between Pilates and Yoga is its genesis, its origins. Yoga's obviously from India, from a long time ago, and has a very spiritual component to it. Pilates was developed by a German in the, you know, late tw--or early twentieth century, I should say--which was more about survival.

Yeah. So, Joe was sick as a child and wanted to get his body as fit as possible to be in his best health and his best form. And later on in years, he was actually on a prison camp where, in that situation, if you weren't healthy and had a healthy body, you literally would not survive. So it was kind of survival of the fittest, you know. And sometimes, we say to our clients that, you know, New York is a really hard place. It's a lot of walking, a lot pounding. It's really hard on your body, so it's kind of like survival of the fittest in the concrete jungle. You know, you want to get your body to be strong and fit to be the best that you can be, in any way. And it doesn't just go for New York, you know. That's just where it originated, but it goes for anywhere, wherever you are in the world, in the country.

Lastly, another similarity between Yoga and Pilates is that both can be done on a mat. The difference is that in Pilates, we also use machines and different pieces of apparatus that Joseph Pilates developed to help clients with the mat work. So that's another big, important difference between Yoga and Pilates.

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