Pilates Vs Yoga: Which Is Better For You?

Because of the pretty extensive similarities between Pilates and yoga, you will often find them getting compared. However, this does not mean that the two are identical, and you can get a variety of unique benefits from each.

In spite of this, there are still quite a few similarities between the two. 

Pilates Vs Yoga: Which Is Better For You?

The main thing they share is that they are both practices that focus on the mind and the body, and are a low impact form of training which can benefit your life. Both are often used in cross training, and doing them can positively impact your performance in another activity. 

Both Pilates and yoga also have a focus on getting a proper breathing technique, and this combined with the low impact is what makes both of them so accessible. You can also tailor a yoga or a Pilates routine to your fitness level, and can progress as you learn and improve. 

You will also not need that much equipment to get started with each since you only really need a mat, space, and time. 

There is also plenty of research on both of these activities which show that they are activities that can be beneficial for your health, both physical and mental in a variety of different ways. Both also help increase your strength, flexibility, and balance too. 

However, even though there are all these similarities, there are also quite a few distinguishing differences between the two. If you only want to start Pilates or yoga, then knowing the differences is quite important to making sure that you do not regret your decision.

So, in this guide we are going to cover the definition and benefits unique to both Pilates and yoga so you can work out which will suit you best!

Pilates

The reason why Pilates is capitalized is that it is actually a name, the activity was developed by Joseph Pilates, and was originally used as a rehabilitative method. 

There is a Pilates foundation, and they say that bed springs were added to the hospital beds of patients who were unable to walk to help with supporting their limbs, and some of this equipment is still in use in Pilates studios today.

Joseph Pilates moved to New York in 1923 where he opened up a Pilates studio which then became popular with dancers in the city. 

A modern Pilates will focus on moving through shortened ranges of motion similar to pulses, as well as performing different isometric holds.

Each of the exercises you need to do in Pilates will rely on your core strength, as well as the ability to have a strong and solid midsection while you work through the different poses. Pilates also has a strong focus on activating muscles while you are also stretching them.

It is seen to be a very efficient workout because of this. 

This is because when you are contracting a muscle that is at the end of its range, you will also be making a muscle that is more strong, as well as more flexible as well.

Benefits

There are plenty of unique benefits to doing Pilates. In spite of that, we will boil it down to the most influential and noticeable differences as you can work out if this is something which will help you. 

One of the best improvements you can get from doing Pilates is how much it will improve your core strength. This is something which can be carried over to plenty of different activities which you do, however, it is something which will also benefit you when doing Pilates as well. 

Even though it improves your core strength, the rest of your body’s strength will be improved as well. You can also work on your balance and posture as well by practicing Pilates.

Something which is also important when working out is having good breathing techniques, and this is something which has a focus in Pilates as well. 

On top of this, thanks to the roots of Pilates, it is also a technique that helps with preventing injuries, as well as in rehabilitating from different injuries as well!

Yoga

Pilates Vs Yoga: Which Is Better For You?

Compared to Pilates the roots of yoga are a lot more ancient with the first recognized use of yoga being around 5000 years ago in India. 

This is not just considered to be a physical practice, but also something more spiritual as well. This is part of the reason why so many people have such a passionate love for yoga. The roots of yoga as a practice are in meditation, as well as combining your breath and your body. 

The word yoga can be traced to yoke, or to unite, and the united element is represented by the relationships between the body, the mind, and the breath.

The ultimate goal of someone who practices yoga is to be able to still your mind and find harmony between your mental and your physical state. 

The specific postures that are practiced in yoga are called asanas, and these are the main focus. However, this is also linked to pranayama which is the breathing techniques that are practiced. 

Now with yoga there is a massive variety in all of the different types and varieties which are available, and there is a style of yoga that is available for all different fitness and skill levels.

While there are still yoga classes which maintain the mental and mind focused practices, there is now a lot more focus on the physical elements as well. 

For example, there is hatha, power, yin, vinyasa, ashtanga, iyengar, and plenty more. The different types of yoga range from more modern, to more ancient, and we recommend researching the ones which appeal the most to you!

Benefits

Similarly to Pilates, the benefits you can get from yoga are pretty hard to count, however, we will focus on the most important and impactful ones here. 

Similarly to Pilates, there is a strong focus on balance, both physical and mental, and if this is something which appeals to you, or is something that you feel like you could improve on, then yoga is an activity which you should consider trying.

There is also a strong focus on improving your mindfulness and helping yourself to relax. 

This is not present in a lot of activities, so using yoga in this way is useful. Something which also helps when it comes to other sports and activities is the increased flexibility you can get from learning yoga. 

The improved breathing techniques will also help when it comes to exercise which requires better breathing. You will also be improving your ability to resist injury by practicing yoga as well. Yoga has also been shown to aid with issues like anxiety and depression.

Summary

Hopefully this guide has properly exemplified all of the unique benefits to practicing both yoga and Pilate. As you can see there are a variety of differences, but there are just as many similarities.

So, if either of these activities seem like something that would appeal to you, but you still cannot pick, we recommend trying both. 

Even if this is just a demo session somewhere local, just trying them out helps with working out which you will prefer!

Laura Simmons
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