Question for the Expert: Is Pilates very much different to yoga?

Asked by Annie Lee

Answer:

Pilates as we understand it has been around approx 100 years, Yoga has origins going back 2500BC. Just as the last 50 years has seen Pilates taken into many different directions, Yoga has a truly diverse and fascinating history evolving into what we understand it to be today. Some argue that Pilates is different in its focus on core, biomechanics and sports science with no focus on spirituality whereas Yoga traditionally focuses on the mind, body, spirit experience during practice.

In my journey through both disciplines however, I have met spiritual Pilates teachers and scientific Yoga instructors. In truth I feel Yoga is more comfortable seeing itself as a way of life whereas the Pilates community has became associated with the fitness/ aesthetic industry.

In truth as Joseph Pilates clearly states in 1939 ‘it is now more than ever before, more practicable and sensible, to be in a perfect state of health, both in body and in mind, in order to more successfully confront the problems continually arising’ Perhaps the focus on working from a physical core so endorsed by Pilates is not so far from the search for Prana in Hatha or chakra balance in meditation.

Suzy Mitchell

Written by: Suzy Mitchell, Pilates Expert