Are you trying to decide between yoga and Pilates classes but don’t know which one to choose? While both Pilates and yoga have numerous benefits, it’s advisable to choose the type of workout that best matches your personal preferences and requirements.
Key differences between yoga and Pilates
Pilates focuses more on core strength, while yoga’s main emphasis is flexibility, even though it also offers you strength. Pilates is a disciplined practice that needs to be executed regularly. Other components of Pilates include muscle toning, body control, and flexibility, whereas yoga offers balance, endurance, and spirituality.
Benefits of Pilates and yoga
Both workouts offer you low-impact exercise with plenty of benefits for your emotional and physical well-being. A qualified instructor can help you with a more structured workout that suits your needs. Both types of exercises involve working with your breath and body alignment. They also help to develop your strength and flexibility. You may decide to pick one or the other, but these two types of exercises can also be used to complement each other.
More about Pilates
Joseph Pilates established this set of postures in the aftermath of World War I as a form of treatment for wounded soldiers. Pilates was brought to America in 1923 and has been developed further over the years.
This type of exercise may help to improve your muscle strength as well as your endurance levels. It may also help to relieve joint pain. Other possible benefits of Pilates include improved flexibility, balance, and better posture.
Specialised equipment can be used during your Pilates class. Different variations of Pilates require different equipment. Smaller equipment, such as magic circles and weights, is a good investment if you want to practice Pilates at home. You can also consider buying resistance bands. You’ll find larger equipment, such as Pilates chairs and barrels, in specialised studios.
In Pilates, breathing techniques are utilised to energise the muscles so that different postures can be carried out. Focusing on your breathing helps to increase the oxygen flow in your body to facilitate the relaxation in your muscles.
The six key principles of Pilates include concentration, control, centering, breathing, flow, and precision.
Pilates can also be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis, respiratory conditions, back pain and more, however, it is recommended that you discuss these exercises with a healthcare professional.
Yoga has a longer history when compared to Pilates. While we don’t know the exact origins of this practice, it can be dated back to over 3 000 years ago. The development of yoga has been influenced by Eastern spiritual practices and it is a holistic practice that incorporates exercise into meditation, relaxation, and breathing. The yoga lifestyle also includes healthy eating and cultivating a positive mindset.
This type of exercise involves flowing through a sequence of different postures while bringing awareness to your breath. With a wide range of yoga types to choose from, it’s easy to find a variation that best matches your requirements.
Yoga may also have positive effects on medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, respiratory conditions, high blood pressure, chronic pain, diabetes, etc. It’s advisable to discuss these exercises with a healthcare professional before you start exercising.
Depending on the type of yoga that you’re interested in, you may also benefit from buying a yoga mat, specialised yoga blocks, straps, and bolsters.
If you still can’t decide between yoga and Pilates, you can try each of them and make a decision or even combine them to reach your ultimate goal. Finding the right instructor will also impact the benefits that your workout offers you.