Yoga and Pilates Discussion and Demo with Sandy Shimoda

Case Study: Pilates & Yoga Similar or Different?

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In this class Sandy and Lauren (who is a longtime yogi and Pilates practitioner) begin with a short discussion on the differences between Pilates and yoga, specifically, how both modalities make you feel and how they are structured. Exploring what makes both exercise forms distinct and how their intention and positioning change the movement as a whole will help you deepen your Pilates practice. Sandy then leads Lauren through a continuously flowing mat workout, after which they return to the topic, breaking down two Pilates exercises that appear to be similar to yoga postures but are actually quite different: Swan vs. Cobra and Teaser vs. Boat Pose. Filmed at Vintage Pilates in West Los Angeles, CA.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Costanzin94 7 months ago

    So so interesting! Loved the “comparison” in words… and practice!!

  2. ewapilates
    ewapilates 3 years ago

    I am devoted to Pilates but I have had a few opportunities to attend a yoga class; …. my joints prefer pilates to yoga, and, observing Lauren- there is not enough air for her in pilates; mostly cause she – probably – sticks to nose in and nose out which is – in pilates, hard sometimes …. I mean thera are times you just have to blow:)

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hi ewapilates, it was fun to look back on this class which was filmed so many years ago! Lauren is still a regular client of mine and I continue to enjoy our discussions of yoga/pilates. She has been doing pilates much longer than yoga (25 years +) but does have a tendency to hold her breath. In pilates it is ideal to breathe in and out through the nose – so she is comfortable with that part of breathing. What she has more difficulty with is trying not to over think or lose control of her centre as she flows – both result in held breath for her. She is aware of this and continues to improve with great pleasure. Do you ever experience that tendency? I do!

  3. realinepilates

    Thank you for this informative session! Loved it! Look forward to more 🙂

  4. lghammerle

    Lovely flow in the workout and I always find interesting the contrasting between yoga and Pilates. While the end result may look similar, how you get there is very different. Thanks for the conversation!

  5. joesmat 8 years ago

    This is the first time I have ever seen comparisons between Pilates and Yoga illuminated so openly and Professionally.
    I liked how Lauren launched in to the 100 – the original way.Great.
    I wanted to revisit an earlier question, which was brought out in this session please!
    You spoke about the heels always being together with toes apart toward the end, as part of the connection, but not in parallel.
    It is said Mr Pilates always worked in parallel, and on observing him on the old video pieces, it certainly appears that he does indeed work in parallel. It is frequently explained that he taught each body differently depending on the body in front of him, but, this does not explain why squeezing the heels together vs parallel brings about a better feeling of being connected; you can feel the two way stretch if you work deeply whilst in parallel? At least that is how it feels to me as a practitioner.
    In RETURN TO LIFE the instruction for the arm position is to – raise both arms 6″ to 8″ above the “thighs” – and then pump. Why is it not done like that to-day?

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Thank you for your questions. It is clear that you are a dedicated and curious Pilates student looking to deepen your understanding of the work!

      The reason for connecting the heels and allowing the toes to come apart slightly is to connect you to your seat. The use of the seat as a stabilizer and to lengthen the low back is essential to Pilates. You are not able to connect the the seat in the same way when you work in parallel. Give it a try! I will be doing some videos on the use of the seat in 2013. Stay tuned…

      The arm pumps in the Hundred should be generous to work the upper back and challenge the torso’s ability to stabilize. The goal for the arms in the hundred is the same today as it was for Joe.

      • joesmat 8 years ago

        Look forward to your videos in 2013 and most grateful for your reply. Thank you indeed.

  6. DKimbro 8 years ago

    I teach Pilates mat at a Yoga studio and found this class immensely informative and enlightning. I look forward to future classes! Thank you!!!

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