AJC HEALTH NEWS
A side-by-side comparison of Pilates and yoga
By VIKKI CONWELL
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Origin: Founded thousands of years ago in India and brought to the western world more than 100 years ago; a
life philosophy that incorporates values coupled with a series of static poses held over a period of time.
Intent: Primarily designed to stimulate muscles while connecting the mind, body and spirit.
The exercise: Yoga exercises are static and held for a particular period of time; the holding promotes
stimulation of muscles. It tends to work every muscle of the body, emphasizing flexibility over strength. Yoga
combines poses with breathing, posture, relaxation and meditation with the intent of creating a harmonious
body, mind and spirit.
Forms: Numerous forms are practiced throughout the world.
Breathing: Deep breathing primarily in and out the nose while holding each pose and transitioning from one to
another; various styles of breathing such as for relaxation, focus or meditation.
Degree of difficulty: Slight learning curve; yoga requires some level of strength in some muscles and some
flexibility to perform movements.
Average cost: $15 per hour-long group session
Finding a class: Ask to observe a class before participating or enrolling. Most teachers and studios offer drop-
in classes and some may allow you to attend a trial class, perhaps at a reduced rate. Health clubs often include
classes in their membership fees so you can try yoga in a familiar setting. It’s a good idea to spend some time
trying different styles, different teachers and different studios to determine where you feel most comfortable.
•Increases strength and flexibility
•Strengthens immune system
•Strengthens and tones muscles
•Improves concentration and focus
•Reduces stress and anxiety
Source: Yoga Alliance
The Pilates Method
Origin: Developed in 1920s by Joseph Pilates as a series of exercises to help soldiers re