Dallas Hot Yoga, Pilates, Barre & Fitness

Dallas Hot Yoga, Pilates, Barre & Fitness

Elisha Rose Guidry Elisha Rose Guidry May 6, 2020

Pilates vs Yoga

Pilates, Yoga Pilates, Yoga 0 Comment

Pilates vs Yoga  – Which is Right for You?

Since I was given the opportunity of growing up overseas as a Missionary girl; I learned at a young age to value the art of learning to understand where concepts originated from – so that would include the practice of Pilates or Yoga. I can share with you what I have learned so far and maybe you might be able to add something of value to your own experiences and journey.


Joseph H. Pilates wrote a book that was published in 1945 called “Return to Life Through Contrology”. Contrology was the first name given for the practice of Pilates; and which was established with a set of principles that were asked to adhere to daily.

The book offers 34 postures and asks that you “always faithfully and without deviation follow the instructions accompanying the exercises and always keep your mind wholly concentrated on the purpose of the exercises as you perform them”(p.11). These exercises were originally designed for one to do in one’s own home.

Words like patience and persistence are words he used to be able to achieve the benefits of this practice. Contrology is a coordination of mind, body, and spirit; first, you acquire control over your own body and then through proper repetition you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.

“Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit. This practice is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace, and skill that will naturally reflect in the way you walk, in the way you play, and in the way you work. You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, to walk or run long distances with undue body fatigue or mental stain – One of the major results of this practice is gaining the mastery over your mind over the complete control of your body (p.9)”.

Bodily House Cleaning with Blood Circulation – these exercises induce the heart to pump strong and bring pure fresh blood to every muscle fiber. True heart control follows correct breathing which simultaneously reduces heart strain, purifies the blood, and develops the lungs. To breathe correctly you must completely exhale and inhale; always trying very hard to squeeze every atom of impure air from your lungs in much the same manner you would ring every drop of water from a wet cloth. Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Lazy breathing converts the lungs, figuratively speaking, into a cemetery for the deposition of diseased, dying, and dead germs. Squeeze every atom of air from your lungs until they are almost as free of air as a vacuum (p.13).

Pilates, Joseph H. . Pilates' Return to Life Through Contrology. BookMasters. Kindle Edition.


To truly start to understand yoga, I had to find something I could relate to. I was raised as a Missionary girl and the Bible (with King James translation) was the only book I was allowed to read for the first 20 years of my life.

Sanskrit is the language of yoga and so having a basic understanding of its origin has been key in helping me to grasp what yoga is about. This is a sacred language that originated from oral traditions developed to communicate the spiritual insights of ancient sages. Sanskrit is called “language of the gods” because it is said that the gods understand and communicate in Sanskrit – thus ceremonies like births, weddings, deaths, and religious rituals all involve Sanskrit chanting. Vedic wisdom was passed down orally long before it was written and the Vedas are the earliest known Sanskrit writings dating back to at least 1500 BCE. The Vedas and their offspring are considered to be of divine origin, originally revealed to enlightened seers. An interesting concept is how “the Indian process of learning is largely based on viewing an object from a variety of angles, thus seeing it in its complete form”. (Noticing how the same word in Sanskrit is used in several different posture names will reveal subtle nuances that would otherwise be lost but can give you a deeper understanding of an asana’s (yoga postures) form and function.)  (The Language of Yoga – (p.2) by Nicolai Bachman).

I like how Deepak Chopra summed up yoga in his book “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga”. “The essential purpose of yoga is the integration of all the layers of life – environmental, physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. At its core, yoga means union, the union of body, mind, and soul; the union of the ego and the spirit; the union of the mundane and the divine. Yoga is much more than a system of physical fitness. It is a science of balanced living, a path for realizing full human potential. Yoga provides an anchor to a quitter domain of life, enabling people living in a modern technological world to stay connected to their natural humanity. Yoga offers the promise of remaining centered in the midst of turbulence”. (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga – (p.10) -by Deepak Chopra, MD & David Simon, MD.)

From my experience with practicing yoga at this phase in my life, I have come to appreciate what to look for in a well put together yoga class sequence: "A good yoga practice, involves poses and exercise that cycle through the accelerator and the brake so the autonomic nervous system gets a thorough workout. This is why a true Hatha Yoga practice does three things. First, it often challenges the body in order to warm up or in order to learn different postures and exercises and therefore activates the sympathetic nervous system. Second, it always includes elements that bring your body and mind back into a parasympathetic state. Third, it develops an awareness between the contrasting states of relaxation and excitement”. (Jain, Ram. Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners: A Comprehensive Guide to Holistic Sequencing . White Road Publications. Kindle Edition.)

Breath is a very important component, “it is considered that the regulation of breath will govern the body, which will then react upon the mind”. The theory behind these breathing exercises is that between the mind and the body comes prana (breath). The principal forms of breath are associated with the inbreathing and the outbreathing. Therefore it is considered that the regulation of breath will govern the body, which will then react upon the mind.” (Seven Schools of Yoga – (p.78,79) – By Ernest Wood.) 

According to the ancient Tantric scriptures the human lifespan is measured not in years, but in the number of breaths. By slowing down our breathing and maintaining a normal breathing rate of no more than 15 breaths per minute, we can conserve energy, increase our vitality, and maybe even live longer. (Jain, Ram. Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners: A Comprehensive Guide to Holistic Sequencing . White Road Publications. Kindle Edition.)

In yoga, the breath is intimately associated with Prana, which translates from Sanskrit into English as “primordial impulse.” Prana is the primordial life force that governs all your mental and physical functions. It is the vital energy that animates inert molecules into self-healing, evolving biological beings. It is the primary creative power of the cosmos. Learning to regulate your Prana to calm, balance, cleanse, and invigorate your body/mind is a powerful technology of yoga. Your breath integrates many layers of your life – your environment, your respiratory tract, your nervous system, your mind, and every cell in your body. Regulating your breath enhances your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. It is the key to a healthy, vibrant life. (Pranayama - The Chopra Center)

Pilates vs Yoga

That is a good question and for me, it would depend more on what my needs are at the moment:

I have always been into fitness; my parents were very health conscious and I grew up eating organic foods and enjoying what nature has to offer whether if I was living in South America or Europe.

May 1st, twenty-one years ago, I lost a child; I learned Lamaze breathing to bring my boys into this world, and needed to use it when my world crumbled at the blink of an eye - with no forewarning. Yoga took on a very special life of its own for me while trying to cope with emotions that I had no idea how to allow myself to feel – regardless of my religious faith or background. Through this journey, I have come to appreciate how this discipline helps me surrender and relinquish control over things I think I need to hold onto – and yet from a detached viewpoint, I have no control over. I have learned that there is no magic pill I can take that will fix everything – but I can have control over keeping my mind, body, and life as well balanced as possible – using tools that are learned by practicing yoga on a regular basis.

I also love the outdoors and White Rock Lake  is a little more than nine miles and I enjoy walking around it - as it pushes my endurance and stamina where I want it to be on a basic fitness level. Pilates is a practice that helps keep me fit to continue to push myself doing the things I love to do with energy and vitality.

Pilates vs Yoga – that is like asking me which do I like better, yang or yin?  Which is better, night or day?  Sun or moon?  The right side of the brain or left side of the brain?  Is masculine better or feminine better?  I have come to appreciate learning to combine opposites, stubbornly and consistently, and that is how I can achieve balance in my mind, body, and life.

Fitness and health – including mental health, and serenity, go hand in hand – speaking for myself:  Certain moments I may be experiencing something where there is no way I can be indoors – I need to be out and about; other times, I want to be introverted and in my little shell. What I have come to love about these two different practices, Pilates and Yoga; are that I am allowed to have these two sides to me and be healthy in “whichever state I am in”.

Elisha Rose Guidry

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