Updated: Aug 20, 2022
Yoga and Pilates are disciplines that are practised more and more and are part of the daily habits of many people today. However, they are often confused and thought to be similar, both focusing on stretching and relaxation, when in fact they are very different practices.
Yoga is an ancient practice that emerged in India with the aim of achieving well-being and peace of mind through different practices, it is a way of life, while Pilates appears at the beginning of the 20th century as a method of rehabilitation and training. The use in pilates of some of the yoga postures is what, perhaps, has led to confusion.
The practice of pilates produces real physical benefits, helping to strengthen the muscles and teaching to adopt correct postures to avoid injuries to the spine. In contrast, yoga has a more holistic component, as it not only improves coordination and increases strength, flexibility and physical balance, but also serves to control stress and release tension, while helping to become self-aware and in day-to-day actions, so it produces benefits on a physical, mental and spiritual level.
The main goal of yoga is to achieve the cessation of mental fluctuations that cause suffering, and the search for balance between body and mind through the combination of various techniques, among which postures or asanas, breathing and meditation stand out. Yoga, whose meaning is union, is a whole philosophy of life whose aim is to achieve a full life of peace and harmony through introspective work and self-knowledge. It does not follow any religion or dogma, it is a personal experience on the way to freedom.
Many times it is thought that yoga consists exclusively of doing postures that are often impossible or difficult to achieve, but this is not the case, postures are necessary because they serve to keep the body strong, flexible and balanced and are the vehicle that connects us with the mind through breathing. But there are different types of yoga from some more dedicated to the physical part in which more complex postures are practised, to others more fluid or spiritual with simpler postures.
If you are interested in practising yoga, you should know the different types to choose the one that best suits your needs.
In a future post, we will talk about the different styles of yoga and the benefits that each of them provides.