Yoga and Pilates have gained popularity in the last decade or so. Many people now choose yoga as a way to improve their health and well-being. There are many benefits that yoga and Pilates bring to your health and wellness. It may be surprising to learn what the differences are when comparing yoga to Pilates.
The first difference is in the actual workout. Yoga is a style of physical activity that has grown in popularity in the west over the last several years. There are many different types of yoga that you can choose from, including Yin yoga and Flow yoga, among others. Several different types of yoga will complement other forms of physical activity such as jogging, running, or other sports.
Focus on meditation
Yoga and Pilates differ in that there is a focus on meditation, spiritual awareness, and deep breathing skills. Pilates focuses on physical fitness. Yoga is considered by many to be more therapeutic in that it helps to improve your overall well-being through the introduction of meditation and spiritual awareness. Often, yoga involves techniques that are similar to those used for meditation, such as deep breathing and relaxation exercises. Yoga also requires that you use your movements to get the most benefit, unlike Pilates which is more meditative.
Benefits of yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates share many benefits. Yoga can help improve flexibility while improving your strength and posture. Pilates can improve your strength while stretching and strengthening your muscles at the same time, thus improving mobility for exercising. Yoga can help reduce stress while strengthening muscles that help prevent injuries. However, it is important to remember that each benefit is different depending on which type of yoga you choose.
Proper muscle development
Both yoga and pilates focus on proper muscle development, but there are differences in the actual exercises themselves. Most yoga and pilates exercises will work on your flexibility, strength, and range of motion. The purpose of yoga exercises is to focus on the internal life force that is called chi or qi. This energy is believed to keep us in balance and helps to make us more flexible. Exercises in yoga such as the yoga positions are known as the sun salutation strengthen the muscles responsible for this inner force. These types of positions also promote flexibility and range of motion.
One of the biggest differences between yoga and Pilates is the emphasis on breath control. In yoga, it is believed that controlling the flow of oxygen in and out of the body is a major factor in allowing mobility and flexibility. In pilates, you are taught to use controlled breathing to increase the efficiency with which the heart pumps blood throughout the body. When you breathe in, the stomach muscles draw in gas and expand, forcing it to go out through the mouth. This increased amount of air and gas flow helps to cool the body while simultaneously increasing flexibility and strength.
Focus on relaxation
Another way that the poses in yoga and pilates differ is the focus on relaxation. In yoga, one is given time to relax in between exercise routines so that the mind is allowed to focus on what is being done. When the focus on relaxation is combined with breathing control, the result is a deeper, more profound meditation. During a yoga or pilates session, you are told to stay still as you experience the different poses. This is achieved with a meditative eye movement known as the samsara, which positions the body and mind for each pose.
All fitness levels achieve their goals
Yoga and Pilates can help people of all fitness levels achieve their goals. It does not matter whether you want to lose weight, gain flexibility, improve strength, or become taller. Pilates is great for everyone from professional athletes to new moms. Even if you just want to keep your posture from getting worse while becoming more flexible, yoga can help you achieve this goal. The key to practicing both yoga and pilates correctly is to know how to use the different types of poses to get the most benefit.