The Caveman Answers: Yoga vs Pilates

Hey Rockheads! Are you gettin’ bored runnin’ on the treadmill? Tired of doin’ bench presses with a dino tibia? Ol’ Scratch here would recommends that you look into yoga or pilates. I’ve told you about yoga before and its benefits, but I think its important to explain the differences between it and the equally popular pilates. The great article below from Mental_floss tells you everything you need to know.  Have you ever done pilates or yoga? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!

Yoga vs Pilates

People You Can Impress: Indian guys with incredibly long beards or instructors with incredibly developed core muscles

The Quick Trick: There is no quick trick to exercise. It takes commitment!

The Explanation:
We in the western hemisphere tend to think of yoga as a way to stretch out or shed stress. But the practice began as something very spiritual. Those who practiced yoga (yogis) did so to control their bodies and free themselves from temptation and achieve nirvana. In fact, yoga actually predates Hinduism.

The main yoga practiced outside India today is called hatha yoga. The point is to balance your body and your mind through controlled breathing (pranayama), mental focus, and a series of postures called asanas, like the well-known Lotus (padmasana) and Downward-Facing Dog (adho mukha svanasana). Some ascribe a spiritual dimension to the practice akin to its Eastern origins. This kundalini yoga uses asanas to release life energy clustered in seven chakras, or centers of spiritualenergy.

Bikram, a kind of “hot yoga” named after its originator, increases flexibility (and sweating) by doing yoga in a really hot room. Bikram, by the way, is not quite as exotic as it sounds: The main studio is on La Cienega Boulevard in L.A.

Pilates, on the other hand, combines the idea of mind-and-body union with an emphasis on physical development and fitness. It was originally named Contrology by its inventor, Joseph H. Pilates, and although it’s not as old as yoga, it’s older than you’d think. Pilates came up with the exercises while working as a nurse during World War I! His focus was to “control” the muscles with the consciousness. Instead of lots of repetitions of simple movements (like dumbbell curls), Pilates stressed doing fewer reps of more skilled movements, thereby engaging the mind. He came up with over 500 of these (today there are thousands). Of course, his original method involved a lot of specially designed machines as well (basically modified gymnastics apparatuses, with springs added for resistance), including the Spine Corrector Barrel and the Cadillac, the latter involving a bench and parallel bars and looking an awful lot like a torture device.

The Pilates method gained popularity in the U.S. when it was espoused by two dance giants of the era: Martha Graham and George Balanchine. Along with yoga, it saw a huge resurgence in the 1990s, when it was heavily endorsed by Madonna.

Celebrity Roundup
Every celebrity faces a stark choice during his or her ride on the fame train: Will I choose yoga or Pilates?

Yoga: Ricky Martin, Meg Ryan, Jerry Seinfeld, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Pilates: Jennifer Aniston, Lucy “Xena” Lawless, Hugh Grant, Patrick Swayze, Daisy Fuentes, and Rod Stewart

One thought on “The Caveman Answers: Yoga vs Pilates

  • September 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Loving the content and most importantly, Pilates workouts. Often it feels Just can’t get enough!


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