For some reason, many people tend to think that yoga and Pilates are similar forms of exercise. While it’s true that both are styles of mind-body fitness, yoga and Pilates are very different. Many yogis we know “don’t get” Pilates and our friends who love Pilates think that yoga “isn’t enough of a workout.” Truth be told, Pilates and yoga are complementary forms of exercise. Doing Pilates will help improve your yoga practice and doing yoga can help your Pilates workouts as well. Here are 3 ways Pilates can benefit your yoga practice.
Pilates focuses primarily on the core. News flash – in yoga, you use your core in more than just boat pose or other “core exercises”. Your core is utilized in virtually every posture. Pilates strengthens your core so that you can gain better alignment, balance, and stability in your asana practice.
Slow it down
Certain schools of Pilates, such as SPX Pilates developed by Sebastien Lagree, emphasize burning out one muscle group at a time to create long, lean muscle. This is achieved by moving slowly and with control. If you’re a yogi who races through your chaturangas, Pilates can teach you to slow down.
Many practitioners discover yoga after injuring themselves in contact sports or other activities, but one can get injured practicing yoga as well. Pilates can help you to build strength to avoid injuries on the mat so that you keep rockin’ in whatever way you like to move.
If you’re more Team Pilates than Team Yoga, consider incorporating more yoga into your routine. While Pilates certainly leaves you feeling refreshing and energized, yoga offers spiritual and meditative benefits that are not taught in Pilates classes.
Want more info? Check out this infographic on Pilates vs. Yoga from MindBodyGreen.