There are many differences, but because Pilates has its roots in yoga there are also many similarities. Emphasis is placed on breathing, concentration, and awareness of the whole body, the mind/body connection, precision and others.
Pilates has a multitude of exercises that help locate and strengthen the pelvic floor (mula bandha) and navel to spine (uddiyana bandha) whilst learning to release the diaphram through the practise of lateral breathing.
Many Pilates exercises involve sequential rolling through the spine, Increasing awareness and mobility of the individual needs of each practitioners spine.
Pilates is useful for identifying and rehabilitating postural imbalances, and has a multitude of exercises that address pelvic and shoulder girdle stability, core stability and muscle lengthening.
No, anybody can do Pilates. The important thing to remember is that Pilates has the potential to go much further, as you start to release habitual patterns and build an awareness of the whole body. When starting Pilates the most important thing to remember is your breathing.
There are many types of back problems, so always seek medical advice first. Many people improve their backs through Pilates but some have damaged their backs through the unintelligent practice of pilates. When approached intelligently, Pilates strengthens the core – the natural support of the body – and can release tension that many of us hold in our backs. Don’t work through pain in the back – ‘no pain no gain’ does not apply in this work. If you are experiencing any form of regular discomfort, seek the advice of your doctor.
Pilates is an excellent form of exercise during and after pregnancy, however new exercise regimes are generally discouraged during pregnancy and the extreme focus on the abdominal wall makes pilates (in a general mat work class situation) an unlikely choice for a pregnant woman with no prior experience.
Postnatal Pilates is ideal. Begin immediately after your doctor has given you clearance. Take your time, work intelligently and don’t work through pain in this work. If you are experiencing any form of regular discomfort, once again, seek the advice of your doctor.