Do you think that Pilates and Yoga are the same?    

It’s not uncommon for Pilates and Yoga to get grouped together. They share many positive benefits such as increased balance, flexibility and core strength while also helping to improve your ability to control your wandering, monkey mind. But what makes Pilates and Yoga different and how can you help determine if group yoga classes or private Pilates session are the right fit for your body and your goals?

Here are the 3 ways that Pilates is different than yoga: 

  1. Emphasis on the core muscles - yes, you hear this word used in Yoga but can your yoga instructor tell you exactly what your core muscles are and how they work? Most likely, they can’t. Pilates instructors know exactly what your core muscles are, how they work, and how you can best get them to work correctly. Pilates' number one goal is proper form and using your body perfectly where in yoga, it's more about achieving a pose.   To learn more about the abdominal core muscles read our previous blog post Learn More About Your Core!
  2. Equipment- Pilates incorporates a ton of equipment into the workout, both small and large apparatus. This equipment helps to better recruit your core muscles in the way they were designed to function through proprioception. Proprioception improves the communication between your body and your brain which produces efficient, easy movement patterns—the stuff that keeps your body moving happily and with ease for the long run. The resistance from the springs in the large equipment also does an awesome job toning the larger, superficial muscles that you want to work so you look lean and feel great. 
  3. Pilates instructors are trained by physical therapists to work with specific injuries so whether it’s your rotator cuff, a bulging disk or a joint replacement, your Pilates instructor can help you cross the bridge from PT to real life because it's based off of modern exercise science and the latest information about biomechanics. This is especially true of Pilates Instructors trained in STOTT Pilates, which we are at Emerald City Pilates.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some yoga, especially aerial yoga (go try this today if you can), but when I’m in a yoga class, I am so grateful that I have been practicing Pilates and have in-depth knowledge about how my body works and a strong, well-functioning core. This knowledge and strength allows me to make smart decisions about how to move through the poses, so I can back off on something that might hurt me or go for it on those poses I can excel at. It’s hugely beneficial to know what’s best for your body, and Pilates gives you that education.