Asking which is better between yoga and pilates is an all-too common question. Though they have similarities, there are key differences.
Yoga was designed to unite the mind, body, and spirit. These are all seen as one thing, interconnected. Yoga is healing to the body and helps to find mental stability, all in the perspective of activity being therapy. Yoga works on flexibility at times but also promotes relaxation. A lot of people who start yoga do it to relax and find some sort of healing within themselves.
Comparatively, pilates will occasionally work in exercise machines in addition to some of the stretches and yoga-based movements. Pilates focuses more on the body than the mind, with a focus being strengthening the body’s core. Flexibility is key to pilates as well as yoga but pilates puts the emphasis on the physical testing of one’s body rather than any yoga-favored mental or spiritual healing.
If you’re considering trying either as a new form of exercise and a way to test your body, which you choose can hinge on a lot of factors. Yoga is believed to be more effective as a sort of healing, especially if it’s in relation to mental illness such as depression or anxiety. In yoga, for example, a lot is put on breathing. This yoga-style breathing in and out is supposed to relieve internal stresses in parts of the body that are tight or holding in anxiety.
Both yoga and pilates contain several poses focused on strength building in the muscles, particularly as it relates to core strengthening and toning the abdominal muscles. Pilates can be more intense and physical driven. Yoga isn’t so physical but can be equally challenging depending on the person and their physical habits.
A lot of people are attracted to yoga and pilates for their ability to heal back pain. Both are successful at treating back pain, as both strengthen and support back muscles. Yoga improves flexibility in the body, which can help with the joints, the breaking up of scar tissue, and limited mobility.
Needless to say, both types of exercise will make you stronger and more toned. All the muscle groups in the body are engaged in yoga and pilates, and there are also clear weight loss advantages to both. That said, if the focus is to lose weight, pilates is more intense and can generally get it done faster. Ultimately, it comes down to which is your preference. Considering pilates or yoga, the answer is yours to make!