Sunday, January 23, 2011

Power Yoga vs Pilates

I have enjoyed many exercise programs through the years, including Pilates, but it's Power Yoga's positive impact on your overall health, lifestyle and happiness that lead me to my Power Yoga Certification and desire to teach it to others in my own Studio. I hope the below information helps you better understand the core difference between Power Yoga and Pilates.

Yoga is a 5,000 year old philosophy that originated from India. More than a form of exercise, it encompasses an entire lifestyle and aims to unite body, mind, and soul. Because Power Yoga incorporates mind and spirit as well as an intense rhythmic workout, it is a therapeutic practice that help practitioners to become more aware of his or her postures, alignment, patterns of movement, and balance (in both mind and body). 

Pilates, a much more modern practice was invented in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates as a practice to help World War I soldiers recover from their injuries. Unlike Power Yoga, which is strictly performed on floor mats, pilates incorporates the use of machines designed to strengthen the abdomen and stabilize the spine, making it ideal for rehabilitation of injuries. Not as ancient in its origin, pilates first gained popularity in the 1990s among the dance world. 

Mental Differences
Yoga in general has a more holistic approach, which emphasizes balance in all areas - it equally supports and strengthens all muscle groups while it creates mental clarity and physical balance. Pilates focuses on building core muscles, and although it also stimulates mental balance, the principals behind Power Yoga involves uniting body and mind. 

Physical Differences
The physical differences between the two are vast. Power Yoga is an intense, upbeat, high-energy practice where poses flow smoothly into one another, targeting the entire body from head to toe. Its benefits are endless - lengthens and leans out muscles, increases metabolism, decreases stress, and enhances mental clarity and focus. The practice of pilates on the other hand (whether machine or mat based), is significantly lower in impact and concentrates more on non-repeated movement patterns and stretches. 

Both Power Yoga and Pilates place a strong emphasis on coordinated breathing; however, with different approaches. Pilates incorporates a basic style of breathing with the purpose to stabilize and protect the spine. Coordinated breathing is integral to the Power Yoga practice. It incorporates "ujjayi breathing" meaning "victoriously uprising" which refers to the upward expansion of the energy of the breath. Ujjayi breathing is an intense, smooth, even, and controlled breathing technique that helps to calm and relax the mind. The deeper "ujjayi" nose breathing practiced during Power Yoga classes also increase power and breath strength throughout the heart and lungs. It is this combination of breath and movement in Power Yoga that connects mind with  body, and creates balance and stability. 

Power Yoga and Pilates certainly share their similarities and are both very popular, but the key differences rest within their core objectives. Power Yoga is a complete balance and holistic exercise that increases flexibility and strengthens both muscle power and mental stability, where pilates simply focuses on the body's core strengths.


  1. Dynamic yoga is other name of Power yoga
    . If you want to shed extra pounds or desire to have a shapely body, then Ashtanga yoga is the answer which is the core of power yoga. Power yoga improves joint flexibility and muscles and also tones them. It also helps in increasing physical stamina. Mental awareness, correct postures, increase in concentration and ability to focus are some of the other key benefits.

  2. Pilates and yoga are very common and popular exercises for developing stretching and flexibility. They are done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. Pilates and the various Yoga styles are both physical, can be done by men and women, and contain various exercises and routines. Thanks a lot.
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  3. Both yoga wantagh and pilates would be a great form of exercise. I think they can both provide healthier life.

  4. There are many physical benefits to be gained from taking up yoga. As you use more of your muscles in your body to maintain the yoga positions, as well as your balance, over time these muscles become much stronger. Not only will the muscles in your lower back, shoulders and legs become much stronger so will those in your feet, arms, hands and stomach.

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  5. Keep on posting these types of articles. I like your blog design as well. Cheers!!!
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