So, you have finally decided to take a fitness class. Now, you aren’t sure whether to go for Pilates or yoga? Both use a mat. Both have video tutorials. Both can be taken as a class at the gym. Both help you achieve that lean physique you desire. However, there are various factors to consider before you finally settle for one.
Before we jump to the breakdown of the differences between Pilates and yoga, let’s first understand which workout practice is better for you. While there is no solid evidence for one working better than the other, the solution to this dilemma depends on the outcomes you would like to attain.
To understand which practice will be more suitable for you, the first thing you need to do is clarify your goals. Here is how to choose between Pilates or yoga while keeping your goals in mind:
How to Choose Between Pilates or Yoga?
Are you looking for emotional or physical rehabilitation?
Both Pilates and yoga can help during rehabilitation. Yoga has been a tried and true method for emotional and mental rehabilitation. An expert yoga instructor can effectively help you build flexibility and mental strength and choose particular exercises that are suitable for your abilities.
Pilates, on the other hand, has been often used to reduce physical pain and help individuals recover from injuries. Yoga comes with a lot of versatility and there are various types of classes available depending on your specific needs. On the other hand, Pilates isn’t as diverse in its presentation. Now let’s talk about yoga vs. Pilates for weight loss.
Pilates vs. Yoga for Weight Loss
Do you often ask yourself, is Pilates good for losing weight or is yoga better for the purpose? In choosing yoga or Pilates for weight loss, you will have to consider your requirements.
Is toning your body a concern to you? If it is, then we would recommend using Pilates instead of yoga. While both the practices are wonderful for strengthening and toning your muscles, Pilates’ machines can be a bonus when it comes to losing weight. They add the fitness and cardio element to your poses and also help you burn additional calories. When it comes to practicing yoga, there is no use of any elaborate machines.
Are You Looking to Improve Your Mental Health?
If improving your mental health is an outcome that you desire from exercise, then yoga is the right option for you. Yoga has always been known to be beneficial for mental health.
Performing yoga can not only calm your sympathetic nervous system and help with stress but also calm your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis resulting in controlled hormone levels.
Would You Like to Explore Your Spirituality?
If you want the pursuit of the spirituality of exercise, then you should consider incorporating yoga in your daily routine. It is an ancient practice involving the exploration of spirituality. A large part of yoga involves deep meditation. Although like yoga, Pilates also helps in the alignment of the mind and the body, it isn’t capable of adding focus on the spirit.
What Is the Difference Between Pilates and Yoga?
Yoga started in India over 5,000 years ago. This practice is a way of life and part of a larger philosophy which is now conventionally referred to as yoga. This exercise was invented for the alignment of the spirit, mind, and body and to encourage a better understanding of one’s self.
Invented in the early 20th century, Pilates has always been a method of body strengthening and rehabilitation. World War I soldiers used Pilates as a tool to rehabilitate but it took a new form when dancers made use of it to enhance their performances.
Yoga and Pilates both include poses and movements that help increase flexibility, strength, and the connection between the mind and the body.
The practice revolves around your mind and your feelings. Flexibility and strength are simply a bonus.
While deciding the best exercise routine for yourself, you must have asked this question at least once: Can I lose weight doing Pilates? Fortunately, the answer to this question is “yes.” The main focus of Pilates is on toning your body and bettering your movement and posture.
Breathing exercises involved in yoga practice help you with relaxation. Throughout your routine, you must focus on the way you breathe and target your breath to tight areas that may be holding stress. This will help you relax specific body muscle groups.
With Pilates, breathing effectively is simply a way to provide your muscles with the energy they require to exercise with full potential. Concentrating on your breathing technique will allow you to manage the amount of oxygen going inside your body to relax your muscles.
Yoga is extremely effective when it comes to improving the flexibility of your body. It also helps in gradually increasing the flexibility of your joints. The central theme in yoga is stretching and holding static positions.
While Pilates also helps in improving body flexibility, it is more dynamic; thus, flexibility isn’t its main focus. However, stretching after Pilates can greatly help with the flexibility factor.
Pilates or Yoga: Which Will You Choose?
To choose between Pilates and yoga, it’s best to give both a try. Although it is impossible to get the full yoga or Pilates experience at home, it will help you get a rough idea of what it’s like to perform both.
You can either opt for free tutorials or attend a class of each a few times to make a fully informed decision on which practice will be better to serve your needs. In the end, we’d like to wish you happy exercising!