Comparing Pilates and Yoga

It should come as no surprise that I am an absolute LOVER of Pilates! But not everyone knows how much I enjoy my Yoga practice as well. However, as a teacher of one and a practitioner, the debate about Pilates vs Yoga is tired and most articles you’ll find on the internet are misleading.

Sure, there are some similarities and some of the benefits of Pilates and Yoga are similar. And, I’m not gonna lie I do find myself channeling Pilates in my Yoga class. But not because the exercise is similar to Pilates. I channel my Pilates in Yoga because the strength and connection of Pilates benefit my Yoga.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • April 26, 2018
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comparing pilates and yoga thegem blog - Online Pilates Classes

It should come as no surprise that I am an absolute LOVER of Pilates! But not everyone knows how much I enjoy my Yoga practice as well. However, as a teacher of one and a practitioner, the debate about Pilates vs Yoga is tired and most articles you’ll find on the internet are misleading.

Sure, there are some similarities and some of the benefits of Pilates and Yoga are similar. And, I’m not gonna lie I do find myself channeling Pilates in my Yoga class. But not because the exercise is similar to Pilates. I channel my Pilates in Yoga because the strength and connection of Pilates benefit my Yoga.

Pilates and Yoga share the functional movement, breathe, flexibility and strength themes to name a few. The idea of Mindful movement is integral to both practices and Pilates and Yoga can be done on a mat. But, there are also a lot of differences. And, since I am not an expert in Yoga I will spend more time on what I know about the two practices.

Pilates was first created to be done on the mat. But, the mat work is hard, we need support and to get strong enough to hold our body up and move it around. Joseph Pilates created the Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda chair and more to help stretch, strengthen and teach our bodies how to control themselves. Teach our bodies how to do the mat. He borrowed from all forms of fitness and movement including Yoga.

In Yoga, you spend a lot of time holding poses. In Ashtanga practices, you will hold poses for at least 5 breaths (or at least that is how I was taught). In Pilates there, a few “hold” but mostly you move. You are constantly moving. Challenging your body to keep it all together when you have spring tension or not, control and resisting gravity. My Yoga teachers are always talking about controlling the body coming out of each pose. I credit my Pilates practice to why I can actually do as they command. Before Pilates, I definitely couldn’t even picture what they were saying.

I actually must admit I hate the idea of anyone choosing one fitness modality over another. I love to say that Pilates helps you do everything you are already doing better. If you love Yoga, Pilates will help you do your Yoga better, stronger and you’ll love your Yoga more. If you can’t do Yoga Pilates will help you get strong enough and flexible enough to get out on that mat and flow.

Pilates and Yoga are very beneficial and both have several styles that fall under them. In Pilates, you have Classical and Contemporary. Classical traditionally follows the orders laid out by Joseph Pilates. Contemporary uses old and new Pilates exercises and each teacher has their own way of creating a class or workout. Yoga has many kinds. I myself have practiced Ashtanga, Power, Hatha, and Hot Yoga. But there are so many more. I have clients who love Kundalini and Iyengar. Instead of thinking this vs that try to find the style and the teacher that allows you to connect to whichever mat you choose!

And, lastly, I hope you don’t think Pilates Vs Yoga when it comes to your workouts and practice. But instead Pilates and Yoga or Yoga and insert workout of choice. They all have their unique qualities and traits. And you don’t need to replace one with the other. You can have it all!

xx~LL

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

CRAB SPECIAL

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle (ball, theraband or old pair of leggings) and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    An OPC favorite theme is back! This week's class is prop free and all about focusing on your breath. Focus on when you're holding your breath so we can explore why. And as best you can inhale and exhale as you move so that the breath can help you rock, roll, reach and stretch!

    Joseph Pilates was BIG ON BREATHING! I won't make you pull out your breathisizer but I do want you to fill those lungs up!

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    HIPPY KI-YAY, MAT & REFORMER

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    To find the work, we’ll use a hip band and mix some reformer exercises into the mat workout and some mat exercises into the reformer workout. We’ll work on finding connections to our hips while loosening them up and making them stronger.

    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,

    Rachel

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      ANCHORS AWEIGH!

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Anchors Aweigh is often misspelled as Anchors Away! Did you know this? And did you know this - The expression anchors aweigh means all the anchors are clear of the sea bottom, and the ship begins its voyage. So, I actually thought I was being clever when I changed it to Anchors Aweigh because I want to use the 1 lb weights as a prop. Also, I want to use this theme to bring focus and clarity during each exercise about what's not moving vs. what is moving. And really keeping what’s not supposed to move as still and stable as can be. May be harder than you think to do, so let’s have fun with it! Think of it as a game.

      Mat prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)
      Reformer prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)

      See you in class,

      Christine

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      LOOK MA, NO HANDS!

      Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

      We’re going to focus on the muscles that help us get up/down to a chair, toilet, in/out of a car, and to the ground without the use of our hands to help.

      As we age, we can lose strength, flexibility, mobility in these leg and core muscles which results in us using our arms and hands to get up and down.

      Let’s keep these bodies as young as we can by practicing getting up and down with only our legs, our center, and our strong back.

      Reformer: No props needed
      Cadillac/Tower: Reformer box
      Mat: Theraband
      Chair: No props needed

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      THE BIG 4-6

      ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

      It's Mindi's BDAY month y'all and she is turning the Big 4 6!!! Oh yeah, which means that we are going to be doing either 4 reps of an exercise or 6!!! Alternating between the two means you get to explore what it feels like to have more reps or less reps to play with an exercise.

      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      Wish I was a Baller

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      In this class we will use the small ball in a variety of ways to find more connection in each exercise. Finding your upper back, Thass and inner thighs to name a few. We have added a few variations and a little creativity to make this class fun and challenging. Hopefully in the end you will feel like a baller!

      Mindi

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, sitting box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.