Difference between Feldenkrais and Yoga and Pilates

What I share here with you only comes from my experience as a Feldenkrais practitioner with a little of knowledge and experience about Yoga and Pilates, thus it is by no means an absolute definition.

I will make it very simple and short.

What Feldenkrais, Yoga, and Pilates have in common:
MOVEMENT. They all work with movement.

Characteristics of Feldenkrais:

-Whole body integrated movement as opposed to isolated movement

-Uses many development movement patterns to improve coordination and balance

-Movement is used as a means to improving human functioning

-Focuses more on subjective experiences of movement

-Process- oriented

Characteristics of Yoga:

-a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices originated in ancient India.

-Tends to be more static (hold a certain posture for a period of time), though it depends on which yoga you practice.

-Whole body integrated movement

-can be goal-oriented especially modern yoga that is practiced as fitness/exercise as opposed to mind-body practice

Characteristics of Pilates:

-works to build strength, develop control and endurance in the entire body.

-may be practiced on the floor or on Pilates equipment such as reformer, Pilates chair.

-tends to be more goal-oriented.

Generalization of Yoga I often hear is that yoga is great for flexibility and strengthening.

Generalization of Pilates is that it is great for core strengthening.

I believe there is a lot more to Yoga and Pilates than those generalizations, however, at least to a small degree that is true.

For me what differentiates Feldenkrais from Yoga and Pilates is that teachers guide students attention to their internal sensations so each student can discover “ideal” movement patterns for him/herself, as no one individual has the same body thus no one movement that fits everyone. In Feldenkrais classes, teachers don’t usually demo movements for students, but instead teachers only verbally guide students through a sequence of movements and guide their attention to their bodies so they become aware of their habitual movement patterns and new and more efficient ones.

These are all movement systems and you cannot learn about movement by only talking about movement and reading. The best way to learn is to try all of them and you will experience the difference between them.

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My name is Taro Iwamoto. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and movement expert. I help people develop new and more efficient movement patterns and expand movement options in order to overcome injuries/pain and move beyond limits. Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!