What are the key differences between Pilates and Yoga and their respective benefits?

Do you love that Zen feeling of yoga? Or maybe meditation is not your thing and you prefer that deep burn of a Pilates class? Do you know what the difference is? Maybe you have tried one but not the other. Let us help you better understand both yoga and Pilates so you can decide what might be the right fit for your workout routine.

What are the key differences between Pilates and Yoga and their respective benefits?

There are many parallel health benefits of practicing yoga or Pilates regularly. However, the two practices are inherently quite different.

Yoga and Pilates are both low-impact workouts that focus on using body weight resistance and breath work. The mutual benefits of practicing yoga or Pilates include awareness of the body, flexibility, stress release, balance, strength, control and endurance. The key difference between the two practices; yoga incorporates a focus on your spirituality, awareness and consciousness.

What is Pilates?

Originated in the 20th century but a German man, Joseph Pilates, primarily developed for rehabilitation work for wounded soldiers. Pilates exercises are built around bodyweight resistance, focusing on improving core, glutes and back strength –referred to as the ‘powerhouse’ of the body. A typical Pilates class will include a variety of cardio, strength and stretching exercises. If you are looking for total body toning, high intensity, low impact strength-based training; Pilates could be the workout for you.

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What is Yoga?

Originated from the Vedic tradition in ancient India more the 3000 years ago. Much of the yoga practice teaches you to connect with your mind, explore your spirituality and seek inner peace. Ancient yoga did not place as much emphasis on fitness.Instead, it revolved around improving mental focus and expanding your spiritual vitality. However, the practice has modernised over the years to include enhanced physical activity and power-based exercises. There are several different styles and types of yoga; Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar, yin, kundalini, just to name a few. A general yoga practice will include movement, stretching, breath work and meditation. If you are seeking a workout that includes an element of self-reflection and meditation in combination with strength-based exercises; yoga could be your calling.

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Fundamentally, both yoga and Pilates share a long list of health benefits that compliment your mental and physical wellbeing. When it comes to whether yoga or Pilates is better for your body; it really all depends on what you seek to gain from the practice. Ask yourself, what are your goals? What style of workout do you like? And most importantly, enjoy your time on the mat.    


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