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January 28, 2022

What is the Difference between Pilates and Yoga?

A couple doing yoga together

Understanding Pilates and Yoga – The Difference Explained

Yoga or Pilates? Pilates or yoga? You’re not sure where to start, you just know that you’re ready to take control of your physical and mental well-being. Woo-hoo! But which one should you choose, and better yet; what’s the difference between the two? Pilates just use more machines than yoga, right? 

Well, not exactly. Although they are both low impact exercises that provide the body with positive feelings and energies, yoga and Pilates are quite different exercises. Village Pilates has put together some information to help you understand the differences between the two.

About Pilates

In Pilates, you implement a position, then you challenge your core with dynamic stability, through a range of different moves, which increase your flexibility and strength. When you are practising yoga, you generally choose a position, hold it, then gently flow into another position.

Pilates began when a sickly child named Joseph Pilates who was born in 1883 Germany wanted to better his health. He started studying disciplines like martial arts, and yoga, which involved implementing your mind and your body. He was fiercely interested in body movement, so after the first World War, he introduced his style of exercise in New York City, where it was embraced by athletes, actors, and dancers.

Pilates moves necessitate stabilising your core prior to completing a string of range-of-motion workouts. Your Pilates studio may utilise particularly designed equipment, such as the Reformer machine, or you can still use a mat to do your moves. 

About Yoga?

Yoga comes from ancient spiritual practices that originated in India. Being a fitness concept, it combines physical poses known as “Asana” with breathing techniques called “Pranayama” which both foster elements of mindfulness. Did you know that yoga is also known as, meditative movement, and comes in many types? 

According to a 2017 survey, one in seven adults said that they had practised yoga during the previous year. The majority, around 94% of those people said that they practise yoga to bolster their overall wellness. 

As mentioned earlier, there are various types of yoga. Hatha yoga, for instance, is a common type that is slow-paced and great for people new to yoga.

What are the Benefits of Pilates?

Pilates can:

  • Improve your posture

  • Increase your flexibility

  • Reduce lower back pain

  • Increase your core strength and stability

Studies have also shown that Pilates may be beneficial in helping to control weight, and are a useful tool for physical rehab. Studies have found that practising Pilates decreased pain and disability in people with various conditions, including back pain and its associated discomforts and disorders.

Although Pilates is not an aerobic exercise, it can minimise stress, which is beneficial to your heart. Generally, Pilates is safe for kids, seniors, and pregnant women. Beginners should seek assistance from a certified Pilates instructor. ‌

What are the Benefits of Yoga?

It can:

  • Improves sleep

  • Promotes better balance

  • Can help with losing weight

  • Can alleviate lower back pain and neck pain

  • Can alleviate the pain of osteoarthritis in your knees

  • Can assist in relieving some symptoms of menopause

  • May quell stress and stress-related sicknesses, like tension headaches

Did you know that almost anyone can practise yoga? However, if you have certain medical conditions, you will need to speak with your doctor prior to starting any exercise routine, including:

If you suffer from any of the above conditions, there may be some yoga poses that may prove too challenging for you to attempt. But there are other poses that could prove beneficial to you. Would you believe that yoga is even safe during pregnancy? Of course, you will need to get permission from your obstetrician prior to starting yoga or any other workout routine.

Since yoga is a low-impact exercise, it results in far fewer injuries than high-impact exercise does. Yet, it can still cause you to suffer some leg and knee strains and sprains. As with all exercise, especially if you’re new to it or have underlying health issues, always seek guidance from a certified instructor if you’re considering before starting.

Book Your Pilates Class

Which One Is Better For You?

Depending on your health and what you want to accomplish, It’s tricky to say whether yoga or Pilates is best for you. If your goal is to bolster your flexibility and strength, then Pilates may be a better option for you. On the flip side, if your goal is to boost your spiritual connection, then yoga may be a better option. Keep in mind, both are great options to increase strength and flexibility, the clear difference is your spiritual connection when practising yoga. The rest, well that’s up to personal preference. Why not do both, they complement each other very well. 

Next steps

Pilates is a handy addition to your weekly workouts that will help you:

  • Gain mental clarity

  • Build lean muscles

  • Boost your flexibility

  • Enhance core stability

Start learning today by contacting us at 0415 715 052 for in-studio services, or, for online classes, visit us here. Book in for your class now and receive a seven-day free trial, Woo-hoo! In the meantime, mosey on over to our blog over here.

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