Pilates vs Yoga
The main purpose of Yoga is to help the people that practice it to unify the body, spirit, and mind. Those that teach Yoga see the physique and the mind as a whole and they believe that if the correct techniques are used, this whole can be harmonized.
Although Pilates focuses more on the physical aspects and on working out, Pilates and Yoga have some things in common. One of these is that they can both be done with little equipment, and talking about that, you can consider getting a pair of pilates leggings that will be useful regardless of which of them you practice.
Both of them focus on making you breathe properly while exercising and they emphasize the importance of breathing deeply. Because of the way they are done, Yoga and Pilates practices require and promote mental focus and they help to reduce stress. Also, they can be both tailored to different fitness and intensity levels.
Pilates was developed at the end of WWI and it was primarily used for rehabilitating wounded soldiers. It was later redefined to be suitable for everybody, but it should be noted that it’s still something used for getting in shape, rather than finding a meditative state.
The benefits of Pilates can be seen in physical aspects such as an improved posture and flexibility, increased muscle strength and endurance, better balance and less joint pain. Evidence suggests that it’s a good practice for those suffering from arthritis, joint injuries, back pain, respiratory or urinary conditions.
It helps to solve these issues by focusing on small movements, using the important core muscles to make your body stable. Although a beginner will start with only a mat, the exercises can get more difficult and be demanding if you choose to use a Pilates magic circle or a Pilates reformer. The reformers imply the use of your own weight to move springs and levers. The equipment also provides the opportunity to do more cardio exercises.
This practice has been around for at least 3000 years and because it has its roots in a number of religions, it focuses more on the spiritual aspects of a workout. It is centered around the beliefs of relaxation, proper exercising and breathing, dieting and meditative thinking.
You can find positive aspects of Yoga routines in physical and mental conditions. Most often it is considered to help those that suffer from depression, anxiety, sclerosis or arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure issues or respiratory conditions.
Practicing Yoga helps people to get a better understanding of their mind. The routines are of different types, but most of them rely on holding certain poses for a specific period and going through a flow of specific movements. It’s a sort of fitness that starts with the mind and continues to the body. Those that are more spiritual can be inclined to practice Yoga rather than Pilates.
How to choose between them?
The biggest difference between the two is the goal that you want to achieve. Pilates will be the training that will focus more on the physical aspect of your life and it implies that you work from your core muscles outwards, developing your body and then your mind.
You can use advanced Pilates exercises as means of getting your heart rate up. This can be beneficial if you want to get your muscles stronger, lose fat or stay in shape.
On the other hand, Yoga provides you with a mindful environment that will help you improve other aspects of your life as well. If done properly, it supports you in achieving stress relief and it will make your body a lot more flexible.
If you are sure that besides working your body you also want to achieve spiritual gains, and you want to feel more relaxed, then you can choose Yoga. But if your primary focus is to work your muscles, particularly those around your abdominal region and your back, you will need to give Pilates a try.
Each class is different, but if you are unsure, try both of them. This is how you will be able to find what suits you best.