What is Pilates?

As Pilates becomes a more recognizable form of exercise, it is important to uncover the depth of this holistic practice, how it differs from Yoga and the benefits of incorporating Pilates into your weekly routine.


What is Pilates?

Pilates is a holistic form of body conditioning created by Joseph Pilates to give working out a whole different meaning. Unlike other forms of physical fitness that isolate muscle groups, Joseph Pilates created a practice that unifies the body based on everyday life and functionality. His philosophy suggests that the body is a system; one body part cannot move separately from another.



Pilates mat-work exemplifies dynamic movement based on the principle that the body is a unit. Mat exercises consist of an attainable movement repertoire that develops full-body strength and mobility. Sometimes all one needs are their body and a mat.



Pilates equipment translates mat-work exercises into an apparatus. To name a few there is a reformer, chair, tower, Cadillac, ladder barrel, and step barrel. Each of the pieces of equipment is designed to explore bodyweight exercises with the assistance of resistance springs.

Regardless of Pilates with equipment or the mat, Joseph Pilates’ mission was to create a technique that strengthens the body from the inside out to maintain functionality within one’s lifestyle.


How Do Yoga And Pilates Go Hand In Hand?

Both Yoga and Pilates are a form of functional exercise that supports breath, increases muscle flexibility, encourages joint mobility, and strengthens the whole musculoskeletal system. The emphasis on control and precise movement targets specific muscle groups by working the body as an integrated system for the most beneficial practice. Pilates and Yoga work within the body’s range of motion to develop flexibility. Unlike other forms of exercise, Pilates and Yoga cater to each person and serve each individual body differently. Pilates and Yoga can be therapeutic or intense. The practice serves your needs and lifestyle while working within your goals.


Is Pilates Yoga?

No, Pilates is not Yoga. Yoga derives from ancient India and is built on principles of breath, body, mind, and inner self. Moreover, Yoga practice is the sequencing of poses to create a flow whereas Pilates is a dynamic movement consisting of isotonic and isometric exercises. Although Yoga and Pilates aim towards the same goal, poses along with breath differentiate the two forms of exercise.


What Are The Benefits Of Pilates?

Pilates conditions the body with the goal of creating or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This means since Pilates is a low-impact exercise it will work one’s body without compromising its form. Thus, some of its benefits include:

  • Strengthening the musculoskeletal system
  • Lengthening muscles
  • Improving joint mobility
  • Preventing the risk of injury
  • Rejuvenating the body and mind
  • Reducing joint inflammation
  • Training less dominant muscle groups
  • Correcting posture
  • Enhancing balance
  • Creating vitality

All in all, Joseph Pilates’ believed that movement would enrich one’s life. His mission was to create a holistic practice of functional exercises that strengthens the body from the inside out.

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.” – Joseph Pilates

By Annie