I Am Infinite Eternal...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A History of Yoga and Pilates...

Yoga and pilates may seem to be one in the same to a lot of Americans. However, there are some basic differences.

Yoga and pilates are often lumped together as one. They both compliment a normal exercise routine by sculpting the body and improving strength, flexibility and coordination. They both involve stretching, slow deliberate and repetitive motions, regulated breathing processes and establishing an overall sense of wellbeing. In a fast-paced society full of various athletes, strength training and weight machines are an American pastime in many gyms. Therefore, many modern Western instructors and athletic trainers work pilates into their yoga practice to change things up a bit.

Clear differences between yoga and pilates include some of the following: First, yoga is an ancient Indian practice that dates back approximately 5,000 years, whereas pilates is an adaptation of yoga dating back eighty years to a German athlete, Joseph Pilate. Secondly, in addition to physical activity, yoga is an entire holistic program that encompasses diet, meditation, breathing techniques, religious edict and a moral code; Pilates is simply a form of exercise and body sculpting technique. Thirdly, yoga aims to unite mind and body, as well as cleanse the body of toxins, while pilates is fashioned to strengthen, define and improve posture.

Additionally, in yoga, you are taught to inhale and exhale through the nose, whereas pilates employs the traditional athletic mode of breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth while performing an action. Lastly, yoga can generally be done with just a mat (although sometimes props are used), while instructors ensure everyone's in proper form; pilates, on the other hand, has specific machinery designed to assist practitioners.

Yoga and pilates classes can be found at most athletic clubs (check PilateInsight.com or YogaFinder.com for complete directories).

Different yoga classes may include:

Vinyasa yoga, Hatha yoga, Anusara yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation yoga, yoga in the workplace or Iyengar yoga.

Some examples of different pilates yoga classes offered include:

Group mat class, group reformer class, private sessions, pilates with props, pilates for specific conditions, pregnancy pilates, pilates for sports and hybrid pilates.

Perhaps more than any other form of exercise, Yoga has been around the longest. Originating in India, this popular form of exercise has been practiced around the world.


The physical portion of the workout is very low-impact and can be performed by anyone of any age. The same cannot be said of kick boxing classes or Jazzercise. But there is more to Yoga than just working out the body. It is also a lifestyle that can bring clarity to the mind through spiritual exercises of meditation and concentration. Are you ready to begin your path to a healthy body and mind? Click here to find out more: Yoga For Weight Loss and at Yoga Accessories also at Yoga Retreat