How are you??
I am not terribly well versed in yoga philosophy,but have studied a decent amount of yoga,mainly Iyengar.I should add that I studied at the major center in NY,and really enjoyed it.I could easily immerese myself and enter their training program.With that said,I have also dabbled in Ashtanga and vinyassa,and while I heard the talk of of opening ones Chakras and acheiving higher levels of consciousness,the training was almost a purely physical practice.I found this to be true in most western adaptions of Hatha Yoga.If there was an element of meditation,it was 5 minutes or less.FYI,when I attended meditation centers at variou zendos,they were upwards of 3-6 hours.
Pilates is no doubt a physical practice,but there are other elements as well.For me,there is a meditative aspect,as in "moving Zen".
But if we remove that aspect and soley view Pilates and Yoga as physical arts,are they that different??
Do they both not have a strong mind body connection?
Focus,control,breath,balance,strength,flexibility are major components of both.
They certainly take different paths,but that is also true between different branches of Yoga.Take an ashtanga class,a vinyassa and then an Iyengar class.Vastly different in their orientation,but quite similar once one reaches a higher level..
If you are" proficient" at Pilates(and injury free),you should be able to walk in to a yoga class and perform most of the postures.The same could be said for advanced yoga practitioners coming to Pilates.In fact,several of the "strongest" Pilate-ka I know have extensive yoga backgrounds.
IMHO,not only are Yoga and Pilates similar,they are complimentary arts...
Hey Alan, I suppose I should have said more traditional schools and teachers seem to emphasise chanting, prayer, meditation etc in classes. Certainly many schools in the west tend to focus alot more on the Asanas in general from what I have seen. Especially at the beginning.
I haven't done Yoga for years but from what I was taught the goal is changing your consciousness through meditation to unite with cosmic entities or God consciouness however each person views the process. Afterall the word Yoga means to unite or join. This is what I was taught was the true goal of all forms of Yoga. This can take months, years or even decades depending on the individual, the style of practice and of course the level of dedication. At the begining though Yoga can be seen as more of a physical practice though. That's been my experience of it anyway.
Since the long term destination of Yoga appears to be rather spiritual and metaphysical in nature I would say in my opinion that makes it quite different to Pilates.The points you make about similarities in mind-body connection, strength, balance, breathe etc could be applied to a whole range of moverment disciplines I feel.