Pilates |pəˈläˌdēz | : a system of exercises using special apparatus designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture and enhance mental awareness.
Pilates Day: May 7th (first Saturday of May every year) – this day celebrates everything that Joseph and Clara Pilates brought to the world. It also spotlights the joy experienced through Pilates – in health, community, and quality of life. Pilates is a mindful, full-bodied experience that infuses moves and concepts from many disciplines, Yoga included. It is steeped in classic moves such as the plank and focuses on core strength, balanced muscle development, and effective range of motion (flexibility) in the entire body.
Yoga |ˈyōɡə | : a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
International Day of Yoga: June 21st – this day celebrates that the essence of Yoga is balance – not just balance within the body or that between the mind and the body, but also balance in the human relationship with the world. Yoga emphasizes the values of mindfulness moderation, discipline, and perseverance. With its origins deeply rooted in ancient India, yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice.
Many wonder – what is the difference between Pilates and Yoga? There are many similarities and differences, and each provides a plethora of benefits and options. Here’s a short list of them:
- Pilates will help connect you to your abdominal and core strength. In Yoga, this is called Uddiyana Bandha and it’s essential for a safe practice (asana). Core or abdominal strength is also the ‘core’ of Pilates – pun intended!
- Pilates will help bring awareness to alignment and building a balanced muscular structure around all joints including our foundation – the feet, ankles, and knees. The lower body focus is prevalent in the standing postures of Yoga and in everyday life with activities like walking and getting down and up from the floor.
- With Pilates you will learn how to strengthen (as well as lengthen) the muscles of the back safely and efficiently, especially the lower back. This translates directly to many yoga postures that include deep spinal flexion and extension.
- Pilates teaches even integration of the entire body to support overall posture and alignment, particularly the position of the pelvis and how it relates to the lower back and keeping movements healthy and productive throughout all movements. This translates to Yoga perfectly as focusing on overall alignment and posture ensures that no one area of the body (particularly wrists, lower back, and neck) is overworked or stressed during the holding of poses or moving through them.
- Both modalities highlight the benefits of training muscle contractions in both the concentric (shortening) and eccentric (lengthening) phases of contraction. While Pilates might use springs or pulleys (on the Reformer), Yoga’s use of isometric holds and dynamic movement throughout the practice; both use the body with or without tools to find ideal movement patterns and alignment throughout.
- Both Yoga and Pilates use breath as a tool to effectively enhance and/or challenge movements throughout. This gives the participant many benefits including increased lung capacity and improved circulation as well as enhanced focus and concentration.
Although the above is only a short list, there are many more, it’s obvious that either OR a mix of both is beneficial for all ages and situations. There are also a variety of blends and ones that even include other mindful activities such as Tai Chi and meditation. Give them both a try and see which one you prefer; chances are, you’ll fall in love with both!
Rejuv at Work offers several options for Mind-Body classes and/or workshops such as: Meditation, Stretch at Your Desk, Deskercise, Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. These are all ways to help reduce and manage stress and anxiety; as well as promote a healthier and happier outlook and work environment. We also offer other fitness classes such as Zumba, HIIT, Bootcamp, and classes of all kinds that help with cardiovascular and strength training to balance out the more mindful classes.