Pilates V’s Yoga
Yoga and Pilates are often thrown into the same category. True, they are similar practices, they both focus on the breathing and lower-impact workouts, but they have some major differences that many people don't recognise. The first thing to keep in mind is that there are many different forms of Yoga and Pilates, which makes determining the distinctions between them a tough assignment. But let's give it a try by exploring some of the differences.
Mind & Body
Both Yoga and Pilates bring an understanding that the mind and body are connected. While Pilates focuses on creating an understanding that the mind and body are connected and how this can help in everyday life, Yoga focuses on the mind/body/spirit connection, especially through meditation.
In both practices, you gain strength and flexibility. Pilates classes offer a total body workout, but focus on aligning the spine and strengthening the core. The exercises done in Pilates classes almost always involve regimented movements to gain core and spine strength. Some classes and one-to-one sessions use machines to gain strength, while others keep you on the mat and use your body's resistance to build results.
In a Yoga class, you work out every muscle equally. Core strength is definitely an important element in Yoga, but it is more of a piece of Yoga, rather than the entire focus. Each posture is accompanied by a counter-posture to ensure you create balance in your body.
Breathing and concentration techniques are important in both Yoga and Pilates practices. In energetic flow-based Yoga classes, yogis breathe in and out through the nose, matching these deep breaths to the movements and postures.
In Pilates classes, you inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth to enhance muscle contraction, especially at abdominals and pelvic area, connecting your breathing with movements.
Is Pilates or Yoga for You?
If you are certain you want your practice to be spiritual and are looking to manage your stress, Yoga may be the better option for you. If your priority is to focus on your back, previous injury issues, hip, knee problems, or simply just improve your posture and core strength, Pilates may be a better fit.
If you don't know where to start, try them both. That's the only way to really discover which practice you will enjoy more and benefit from the most.
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