Pilates? Like Yoga Right?

Published on 27-Mar-2010 by Amber |

Pilates? Like Yoga Right?  I get it all the time. I tell people that I'm a pilates instructor and I usually get one of three responses...

  1.) "Oh I've heard of it. It's like yoga right?" The short answer, no. Let's just say they are cousins in the family of mind, body disciplines. Similar yet oh so very different. Yoga has a much more spiritual aspect and focuses more on isometric stretching in poses, while Pilates focus is strength and flexibility with a target on core and spine support. A lot of people get turned off to Pilates because they don't necessarily like yoga and don't know the difference between the two. I hope this clarifies!

  2.) "Awesome! I've taken some mat classes at the gym before. It kicked my ass!" Hell ya! A good mat class will give you a head to toe strengthening and lengthening workout. Form and proper instruction are essential to get the most out of your class. Not to put down gym's, but most massive gym chains don't know a thing about the true pilates method and hire instructors who can't teach properly due to the size of the classes. Unfair to the instructor and the student alike. The next step is to take smaller classes at a pilates studio and try out the equipment! It's super fun and adds a lot of variety and intensity. Here's a short video of me teaching in the studio with my good friend Kristin Norris of Instigationology.com so you can get a feel for what an equipment workout would look and sound like.


3.) "What is Pilates and why would I want to add it to my workout routine?" Originally called Contrology, the Pilates method is a series of exercises that fuses the mind and body, so that without even engaging the mind, the body will move with economy, grace, and balance. You learn specifically how to control all of your muscles groups, large and small, and build them in a uniform way to support ideal bone alignment and function. Functional exercise meant to aid and enhance all of your other epic activities! 

The Pilates repertoire developed from 34 exercises done on the floor on a padded mat, but Joseph Pilates later invented several pieces of apparatus, each with its own repertoire of exercises. Most of the repertoire done on the various pieces of Pilates apparatus is resistance training since it makes use of springs to provide additional resistance. Using springs results in "progressive resistance", meaning the resistance increases as the spring is stretched.


Now that's a strong core above! Joe looks nuts in this picture..haha. There are also many props used in Pilates including the Magic Circle, invented by Joseph Pilates, small weighted balls, foam rollers, large exercise balls, rotating disks, and resistance bands. Foam rollers and Magic circles are my go to props when working virtually with clients. Whether using the additional resistance of springs on Pilates apparatus, or the constant resistance of gravity in mat work, the Pilates repertoire builds strength, develops proper alignment and posture, and increases flexibility. Give this short sample mat series a try and see what you think and feel. 


Pilates is a self sufficient fitness program, but acts as an incredible addition to any other favorite activities. The 8 core principles behind pilates can be used in any workout. Read them here. Read part of my story to see why I fell head over heels for pilates years ago and never looked back.

  What has your experience been with pilates? What is it about the method that keeps you coming back for more? ...... 

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