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Yoga v. Pilates

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

I'm often asked what the difference is between yoga and pilates. Actually in truth I've never done pilates, but understand that it is an effective exercise for everyone, incredibly challenging when it needs to be, and really builds strength and core. And yoga too of course when you want it to. But when I think about the difference between the two, it's about the 'yoga' of yoga that differentiates it. Pilates is exercise, where yoga traditionally isn't. Yoga is breath, focus, drishti, mudra. The 'yoga' is made accessible by the asana or poses we choose to practice. From those poses, we are able to find a meditative state, or release emotions we keep caught in our bodies, challenge ourselves physically yes, but perhaps more mentally. Originally an asana was simply a comfortable seated position from where the yogi practiced pranayama and meditation. There were no complex physical poses, no movement at all in fact. Yoga and pilates suit different people, much in the same way different teachers suit different people. At its core, yoga is not about movement, it's a way in to the soul. It doesn't have to be practiced like that, and can of course be a great way to encourage flexibility, strength, balance and uncommon movement in the body. But that's the difference really.. that when you choose yoga, you're choosing a wealth of possibilities into your mind, body, breath and soul.

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#asana #drishti #mudra #yoga #hatha #comfortableseat #pranayama #pilates #exercise

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