Difference between Yoga and Pilates

It seems that these days you can hardly walk into a gym without hearing someone mention Yoga or Pilates (often both in the same breath).

We uncover some of their differences with ESPA’s wellness supervisor, Amber Parry – who’s also our resident Yoga, Pilates and Meditation teacher

Yoga Pilates
A life philosophy that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. It has 8 main aspects that are central to the teachings. They encompass ethical and spiritual values as well as a physical practice – called ‘Asanas’ – which happen to be beneficial to the overall wellbeing of the body. Created in the mid-20th century by Joseph Pilates who was partially inspired by Yoga. Based on 8 principles that teach a mind-body connection, it consists of exercises that improve the function of our core muscles; namely, the abdominals, pelvis, upper and lower back.
The class
Yoga classes vary in routine. Postures, sequences and variations can be combined into tens of thousands of routines to create a class. Pilates classes are a little more structured with certain fundamental exercises that need to be accomplished before moving on the next stage.
The workout
You’ll gain strength and flexibility of body. While core-strength is an important element of Yoga, it isn’t the main focus of the workout. Yoga poses are also generally held for a longer period of time. In addition to strength and flexibility of body, Pilates is focused on strengthening the core – to improve the way we function in our daily lives. You may be asked to repeat the same exercise/ movement for several repetitions.
Breathing techniques (A fundamental principle for both practices)
Yoga has several types of breathing (known as Pranayama) for different purposes (i.e. relaxation, focus, energy and deep meditation). Prana is understood as life force or Qi and one practices pranayama to deepen the relationship between breath and mind. Pilates has only one style of breathing. Called Lateral Thoracic Breathing or “ribcage breathing”, this breath recruits the core abdominal muscles, and promotes maximum efficiency from the lungs and diaphragm.


Yoga retreat at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

If you wish to delve deeper into Yoga, you can contact ESPA to learn about the Yoga classes available. Call us at +65 6577 8880 or email: ESPA@rwsentosa.com.

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