Are you unsure whether you will take yoga or Pilates classes? Not sure what the difference between the two is? There are several factors to consider when deciding which method is best for you. You may want to start a new form of exercise and find it difficult to choose between yoga and Pilates. What you choose becomes part of your life, and the choice you make depends on the result you want to achieve.
Are you looking for physical recovery? Both yoga and Pilates can help to recover physically. For people with an injury, for example, Pilates is a proven method to reduce pain and recover from the injury. Yoga, on the other hand, is often used as part of mental and emotional recovery.
Yoga can also be very good for physical recovery, sometimes even better than Pilates, depending on your personal needs. An experienced, knowledgeable yoga teacher can help you build strength and flexibility, pick exercises that suit your level, and adjust the exercises as needed.
Yoga classes can be very different depending on the current, teacher or yoga studio. For example, there are classes specifically for the elderly who are tied to a chair, meditative yoga, yoga for toddlers, and classes for athletes at the Olympic level. Pilates is less diverse.
Determine if it is important to you to tighten your body. With both yoga and Pilates you can strengthen your muscle groups and get a better figure. Pilates places more emphasis on muscle formation. For example, if you want to lose weight, you can do Pilates exercises with Pilates machines, adding a cardio and fitness element to your Pilates postures, so you burn even more calories. There are no machines in yoga.
Think about what improvement in your mental health you would like to get through your exercises. Yoga is known for its beneficial effects on mental health. When you do yoga, you calm your sympathetic nervous system, which helps with stress, and it calms the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which regulates hormone levels.
Consider whether you want to strive for spirituality with your exercises. Yoga is an old method in which spirituality can be explored. Mediation is an important part of yoga. Yoga and Pilates both balance body and mind, but Pilates does not emphasize spirituality like yoga.
On the other hand, yoga can also be done without emphasizing spirituality, if that doesn't suit you. When it comes to choosing a class, you can also choose a more secular yoga class if spirituality doesn't interest you.
Read more about the origin of both methods. It can be helpful in making your decision to read more about the origins of yoga and Pilates on the Internet. Some of the main points are:
Yoga originated in India more than 5000 years ago. What is popularly called yoga is actually part of a larger philosophy and lifestyle. It is designed to gain a better understanding of yourself and promote balance between mind and body.
Pilates was invented at the beginning of the 20th century as a method of rehabilitating and strengthening the body. It started as a tool for the rehabilitation of World War I soldiers, but it only really became popular when dancers started using it to improve their dance performance.
Assess the different principles of both methods. Yoga and Pilates are very similar in many ways. Both include postures and movements that promote strength, flexibility and the connection of body and mind. Ultimately, yoga is more focused on your mind and how you feel, with strength and flexibility being a side effect. Pilates is primarily intended to strengthen your body and improve your posture and movement.
Know the difference in breathing in yoga and Pilates. Slightly different breathing techniques are used in yoga and Pilates.
In Pilates, breathing is used more as a technique to provide the muscles with enough energy so that you can perform the exercises effectively. If you focus on your breathing during all Pilates exercises, your body will receive enough oxygen so that the muscles can stay relaxed.
In yoga, you use breathing exercises to relax. When practicing yoga, it is important to keep your focus on your breathing. If you breathe in the direction of places that feel tense, you can relax those muscle groups better.
Think about whether you think it is important to become more flexible. One of the main differences between yoga and Pilates is that you can use yoga to become more flexible in the joints and to lengthen the muscles. Stretching and holding postures is a central theme in yoga. Pilates is more dynamic, and while it does make you more agile, it doesn't emphasize it. However, it is highly recommended to stretch after Pilates so that you also become more flexible. Online Pilates instructors (such as Cassey Ho from Blogilates) offer stretching videos that you can do after your Pilates class.
Determine how important you think it is to become stronger. Pilates focuses on relaxing muscles that are stiff and strengthening all kinds of muscle groups of the body. In contrast to yoga, in addition to the exercises on the mat, Pilates also uses resistance-enhancing devices, making it more like strength training than yoga.
Yoga and Pilates both include a variety of poses that are good for training the abs. Pilates is a lot more intensive, however, and you will see results sooner than with yoga. If you do Pilates exercises regularly, you will have a flatter and firmer stomach.
Assess the difference in mental health benefits. Know that yoga focuses more on the mind. Yoga appears to be beneficial for people with depression or anxiety. Yoga appears to be more effective in mental illness, as it targets both body and mind. Reflection and meditation are an important part of yoga. Many people start yoga to reduce stress.
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