Daily Inspiration

Yoga vs Pilates

If I were to describe the difference between yoga and Pilates, I would say that they are like two fraternal twins. They are cut from the same cloth but different in looks and in their individuality. At the beginning of this year, I decided to embark on a new journey, BASI Pilates Teacher training. I laugh at how I used to think about Pilates. When I first started teaching yoga in 2004, I felt like learning Pilates would taint my yoga instruction and make it impure. Somehow learning something different would dilute the quality of my yoga knowledge. I have thankfully come to realize that this is silly! There are so many examples of why combining two unlike things makes the whole stronger. Like metal alloys, for instance, pure gold is soft and malleable and yet when combined with copper to make rose gold makes the material more durable and stronger. And with purebred animals comes a lot of unfortunate health problems due to their inbreeding, but mixed breeds benefit from having lessened chance of these health risks. So why would learning Pilates make my yoga knowledge any weaker and less potent?

I have learned quite a lot about movement in general through higher education and multiple trainings. It seems like Pilates was just the next obvious step.
And it turns out I love Pilates! The precision of the movements tends to my hypercritical OCD side and the flow appeals to my artistic side. I’m able to make connections and notice distinctions between the 2 styles of movement

Iyengar demonstrating navasana (boat pose) on the left and Pilates demonstrating Teaser on the right
Iyengar demonstrating navasana (boat pose) on the left and Pilates demonstrating Teaser on the right

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And I have incorporated some of the movements in my classes since my training began but now I celebrate the fact that it’s all movement – mindful, intentional movement.
Yoga will forever be my passion and love. But there’s always room for growth and to further our development as dynamic beings.
Cheer for me in late September as I take my Pilates mat test for certification!
I hope to lead a few informal classes to practice before that date so if you are interested in being a Guinea pig and are available, I’d love to share what I’m learning!

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