Yoga or Pilates: Which is the best for you?
Yoga and Pilates are often grouped together due to the fact that they’re both low impact, low intensity and focus on breathing and stretching. It’s easy to get the two confused however there are a great number of differences and reasons to do both:
Although there are some cross-over of moves you tend to hold a pose in Yoga for longer, allowing you to fall more deeply into the move. Pilates tends to involve shorter poses with few repetitions to allow focus on control and precision. Both practices however have a strong focus on core strength, with Yoga core focus is required to prevent back strain and with Pilates the main aim is to strengthen core muscles and all movement must come from the core.
Although the control of breathing is a key feature for both classes Yoga tends to focus on it more. Breath work is used in yoga to encourage relaxation and steady a pose. In Pilates breathing is used to give muscles more energy to carry out exercise efficiently.
The physical benefits
Both classes are ideal for developing core strength and balance plus they workout various muscles across your body. The physical benefits of Pilates includes muscle toning, increased strength, flexibility and body control. Yoga increases both strength and flexibility through muscles and joints.
The mental benefits
Yoga and Pilates are both great stress-busters with the focusing on breathing that can combat feelings of anxiety and stress. Yoga is holistic which means the focus on mind and spirit is as important as the body. Yoga involves meditation which is great for taking some time out and focusing on your well being. Pilates doesn’t focus on meditation but does work on the mind and body connection through concentration and focus which can benefit mental health.
Which is the best for you?
Yoga is an ancient holistic practice with roots in meditation and spirituality whereas Pilates was invented by anatomist Joseph Pilates designed to alleviate physical ailments. Yoga is great if you want to stretch your muscles, improve flexibility and take some time out to relax. Pilates is perfect if you want to strengthen the body and is more fitness-based that Yoga but both are a great full-body workout.
Pilates and Yoga are available across a number of SLT centres, you can find your nearest class here.