Social Icons

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pilates: Like Yoga, Only Different

If You're New to Pilates or Yoga, This One's For You!

In last week’s post, I introduced you a brief history of Pilates, and what you might experience in the first 5-10 minutes of your first lesson, and I promised that in this post, I’d continue in that vein. However,I have been hearing the same question quite a bit this week, and think it would be best addressed at this time.

The question is:  “Pilates is like yoga, right?”

Well, yes and no.

Yes, in that apples, like oranges, are fruit, have skin and seeds, are in similar biological classification systems, may grow in the same climate, but usually don’t, and in most circumstances, the two fruits are quite compatible. They are very different, but are both very nice.

No, in that their history and the purpose for practicing each is very different. I often explain that yoga is a sacred practice that has been around for thousands of years, and it is primarily focused on using the body and mind to pursue and open to the spiritual. Pilates has only been around since the early part of 20th century, and it's primary focus is on the mental controlling the physical.

When discussing Pilates and yoga, they tend to be lumped into the same classification system, which is that of mind-body exercise. More on that in a later post. What you need to realize is that the history of each method is vastly different and though they share similarities in movement and benefits, at their “core”, (great word, huh?!), they are as different as an apple and an orange. Practicing either method should be based on personal preference and the needs of the individual. Both practices are valid, beneficial, and very enjoyable, but they are not the same, and can have very differing benefits.

The following are some things to think about if you're new to Pilates or yoga.

When you’re exploring the methods for the first time, it is very important to consider safety. Both methods are like swimming: Neither should be attempted by yourself or in a crowded class the first couple of times you practice. If you didn’t know how to swim would you jump into the deep end of an unattended swimming pool and hope for the best? Along the same lines, would you jump into the same pool in the middle of a really crowded class with only one teacher present and no lifeguard and hope for the best?

I am speaking from personal experience. I am a student of both Pilates and yoga, but a teacher of only Pilates. I have also been teaching for almost half my life, and spent a portion of that time teaching in physical therapy clinics where I worked with patients who had been injured in both methods. I’ve been injured in both methods. I’ve also been tremendously helped by both.

The key to success in both modalities is research, especially when you’re starting out. There are a myriad of different schools of thought in both the yoga and Pilates communities. I researched and practiced several different methods of Pilates before I became certified to teach. I kept up my studies and research, and realized a few years into my career that there were other teachers and methods that resonated more with me, and felt better for my body, so I pursued studying with those teachers and practicing those methods.

The same goes for yoga. I've studied and practiced several methods and enjoy and benefit from some more than others.

In closing, each discipline is beautiful and beneficial and both are a great compliment to any fitness regime. Practicing one or both will give you so many rewards. Do your research. Invest in learning and in your health and you’ll reap the benefits. Be safe, be smart and be strong!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Sample text

Sample Text

Sample Text

In home services available in the Chicago area. Also available by phone.