Yoga and Pilates. Both are usually done on mats, they can be done using body weight and both can help one relax.

So what’s the difference between them?  And how does one choose?

A Long Time Ago

One main difference is the ‘birth’ of each practice. Yoga has its origins in India and can be traced back to very ancient times. 

It started off as a Vedic practice, mentioned in the religious texts – the Upanishads and Vedas. There are a slew of documentation and statements on the various Asanas, Pranayama and meditation techniques. To this date, whilst there are adaptations and modernisation, Yoga still draws its inspiration from this rich history. 

Comparatively, Pilates is fairly young, less than a hundred years old. It originated with a German, who developed it in Britain before bringing it to the United States. Only then, did it see a revival back in Britain. 

Pilate’s creator, Joseph Pilates, did in fact draw inspiration too from the Eastern world, one of which is of course, Yoga.


Fast Forward to Today

Both are popular with the masses. They have their sworn adherents, with celebrities and influential people standing up for one or the other. They are commonly lumped into the same category, with overlapping similarities that gets people wondering. 

So what are some of the similarities?

They are both considered to be slower paced, and both promote toning and improved balance. They can be practiced anywhere, with little more than a mat needed. They help you focus, and you learn proper breathing techniques. 

And that’s where we move on to the differences.


In a Specific Game

One crucial difference is that in Pilates, the core is the primary focus, whereas Yoga is the entire body. Pilates also plays a more rehabilitative role, whereas Yoga works on bettering the mind, body and spirit.

Not to mention, there’s a more spiritual element to Yoga. In most practices, there’s a need to meditate, to connect with the spiritual for development. There’s a need for the mind and body to form a rapport with the inner being. However, there’s always the option to opt-out of the spiritual element if it is something you are not comfortable with. Pilates, despite drawing elements from Yoga, focuses on the physical body. 

Yoga also focuses on flexibility, whereas Pilates looks to increase mobility. 

Picking Sides

These differences ultimately boil down to what the individual is looking for, the goal one has in mind. It could also be a personal preference. And more often than not, it’s good to take part in both, to really give your body, mind and spirit the care that’s sorely lacking in this modern era.

The condition your body is in also plays a part. Hence, it’s always good to check in with your doctor before taking part in any of the activities both provide. Informing the instructor will also help, as he/she would be able to look out for you and provide the modifications needed. 

Hence, Yoga or Pilates? It’s your journey to take.

After all, both are meant to improve your health and wellness.

So join us as we embark on a journey that awakens all your senses and soothes you physically, mentally and emotionally. We truly believe that everyone can live well, and that everyone can live more with Jal.

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