Pilates and yoga, same same but complementary. At a glance Pilates and Yoga seem very different, however, there are many similarities and it is fair to comment that the two disciplines are in fact complementary and when practiced together they can give the practitioner a multitude of physical and mental advantages.

Pilates and Yoga both focus on strengthening the body. Pilates, as a method, was designed for rehabilitation using modern exercise techniques and ancient yoga practices. Yoga, however was designed as a form of meditation, a way of life. Yoga practice aims to develop a union between one’s body, spirit and mind which in turn leaves the practitioner with a sense of wellbeing, clarity and calm while strengthening the body. However, the two methods work together strengtehning and relaxing

Yoga and pilates have their own breathing technique which aid and compliments the exercises or poses as they as performed. Yoga uses diaphragm breathing where we send the air down into the abdominal wall. Pilates focuses on lateral intercostal breathing, opening up the thoracic spine. Both breathing techniques facilitate the movement and concentration. Both technique work all the body and imporve circulation. The breathing along side the exercises put importance on performing the sequence or exercises correctly, lengthening muscles and focusing on the nucleus of the body to generate energy for the movement.

Both practices improve one’s flexibility but in different ways. Pilates focuses on improving the flexibility of the spine in all directions whereas yoga tends to focus on improving the flexibility or the ligaments and joints, a yogi will hyper extend to reach their pose whereas a Pilates practitioner Works within the natural alignments of the body. It could be argued that it is important to work in ones body’s natural alignment to achieve strength before practicing  poses which involve hyper extending one’s body preventing injury.

Yoga helps improve one’s balance as most of the exercises are performed standing. Yoga puts a lot of emphasis on balance, Pilates focuses on stability and excludes the extra element of finding ones balance into a Pilates routine. Balance is important and many Pilates practitioners could benefit from practices yoga to improve their balance as Yoga people could work on strengthening their core. pilates and yoga for all.

To conclude, it is possible to say that both disciplines have similarities as well as their own defining properties. The similarities when practiced together can give the practitioner a better overall understanding and session. The differences could help the practitioner expand and improve their exercise routine as well as their personal development from a mental and spiritual perspective.  Click here to  trial a month of yoga and Pilates classes combined to see how Pilates and yoga are complimentary disciplines