Despite being around for quite some time, yoga and Pilates are two forms of exercise that are still widely popular nowadays. They have a lot in common, most notably in that both focus on body and mind. So it is not surprising if someone unfamiliar with either practice might be confused about their differences. If you are interested in trying out one of them but are not sure which is the right one for you, you should first learn more about both disciplines and what you could get out of each of them.
Yoga is by far the older practice that has origins in ancient India and dates back thousands of years. There are many types of yoga, each with a different style combining physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. The discipline focuses not only on your physical well-being but also on the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. It urges you to look inward and develop self-awareness.
Benefits of Yoga
The different types of yoga offer a variety of benefits. These benefits could be both physical and spiritual. On the physical side, yoga helps improve your strength, flexibility and coordination, and also strengthen your joints. While it does not directly lead to weight loss, the discipline fosters a self-awareness that may lessen your craving for unhealthy foods, alcohol, and caffeine. It encourages you to take better care of yourself.
Yoga also works toward the connection between mind and body. It encourages you to focus on your breathing and to pay attention to the moment. It is a major point of the practice that you delve deeper into yourself than just your physical form.
It is a good idea to have a goal in mind when finding the best yoga class for you, as there are a variety of styles available that would reap different benefits.
Pilates is a method of exercise developed in the 1920s by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates. This form of exercise is low-impact and focuses on strengthening the core muscles, developing better posture, improving flexibility, and promoting balanced muscle development. Comprised of the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and hips, the core is considered to be the key to your stability. This physical fitness system was designed to allow modifications to adapt to a person’s level of training, as well as his or her goals. The level of difficulty can also be increased as the person advances. This is why Pilates has been effective among a wide range of practitioners.
Benefits of Pilates
Pilates aims to strengthen your core and works towards better muscle tone. It could also help improve your postural alignment, coordination, and flexibility, as well as your respiratory function, digestion, and sleep patterns. A session of Pilates could also result in a clearer mind and a better mood. And while it doesn’t burn calories as much as cardio exercises do, Pilates could certainly put your body in better shape to engage in heart-friendly activities.
Similarities Between Yoga and Pilates
– As mentioned earlier, yoga and Pilates focus on both body and mind and the connection of one to the other.
– Whatever your end goal may be, both disciplines encourage you to focus on the moment of exercise itself.
– Both may be performed with just a mat, but other props or apparatus may be used as well.
– Both activities could improve your circulation.
Differences Between Yoga and Pilates
– While yoga focuses more on the flexibility of the spine and limbs, Pilates focuses more on developing core strength.
– Yoga puts more focus on stretching and holding postures, while Pilates puts more focus on strength and movement.
– Yoga puts an emphasis on spiritual connection. Pilates, on the other hand, is more targeted towards the physical form where the sense of well-being comes as a result of the exercise.
– There are many types of yoga and variations in its practice, while Pilates mainly works toward the same purpose it was originally developed for.
– Yoga concentrates on breath first, then coordinating movements to that breathing. On the other hand, Pilates concentrates on the movements first before coordinating those movements to the breathing.
– Though both practices utilize breathing techniques, each uses its own breathing pattern.
Learning the differences between yoga and Pilates will guide you in choosing the best form of exercise for you. It is also important to do some research on the classes available so that you can find one that best suits your needs and level of training. But whatever practice you sign up for, you could look forward to achieving a sounder mind and a healthier body.