Pilates VS Yoga… my thoughts.

If you have ever met me, you know how much I LOVE both Yoga and Pilates. People often ask me, if you love Yoga so much, why teach Pilates?? That question is usually followed by one of my other least favorite questions, which is: what is the difference between Pilates and Yoga anyway?!

Originally I would gently smile and say… there is no difference. Although I am sure we can get into incredibly minute and specific differences between each practice… overall, the two are generally the same as long as your approach is the same.

Think about it…

Are YOU different in a Pilates class versus a Yoga class?

THAT, to me, is the interesting question.

This sent me on a journey of tapping into all of the Yoga and Pilates teachers that I gravitate toward.

I would note all of the things that they would say…

They were all asking the EXACT SAME things of me.

This is because it makes no difference if I’m working with a Pilates or a Yoga Teacher…

those are the things that I need to work on.

Pilates isn’t about stretching, nor is Yoga.

Pilates isn’t about lengthening and toning your muscles, nor is Yoga…

I hate to tell you this, but neither practice is about finding spirituality, balance, or becoming more flexible…

nor are either about achieving enlightenment.

Both Pilates and Yoga can lead you to wherever you need them to, and both provide excellent avenues that lead you directly toward achieving any of the above listed results,

but…

THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL.

You have to do the work.

Bottom line.

And THAT, ultimately, is what it is all about.

YOUR work.

However, after a while…

I realized that I was wrong (It happens to the best of us. ?) about one thing.

There actually IS a clear difference between Pilates and every other type of “exercise.” That difference is the Pilates Apparatus. The apparatus that was designed by an absolute genius who was years and years ahead of his time…

Mr. Joseph Pilates.

With each passing moment that I spend teaching on these brilliant machines I am more and more impressed and profoundly humbled. I have actually told students in the past that I am not a good Pilates Teacher per say, but I am an EXCELLENT “spring translator.”

One could call the vibration of the springs the “language” of the body’s movement…

If you are patient and receptive enough to listen to (and to truly hear), their beautifully “spoken” vibrations, they will effectively guide the body in front of you toward uniform development.

Pure balance.

It is BRILLIANT!!!

I also, however, have the pleasure and the absolute honor of working with some of the best Pilates and Yoga teachers in the world, who beautifully and very skillfully translate students’ movement both with and WITHOUT the feedback that the springs provide. They are equally curious about all movement modalities and are open and receptive to the bigger picture. These are the like minded Teachers who I am honored to have in my life, and this is the type of teacher I am, and strive to be better at being. Every. Single. Day.

So, to conclude, I don’t really care about the difference between Pilates and Yoga.

I LOVE Yoga and I LOVE Pilates.

I LOVE healthy, natural… instinctual MOVEMENT!

I say, instead of describing our differences, let’s work together to focus on how we can collectively provide an opportunity for all students, who are willing and ready to do the work, to find healing.

Let’s make this world a better place, one uniformly developed body at a time!

Cheers and Namaste!

“Change happens through movement and movement heals.”
~Joseph Pilates