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Pilates vs Yoga: What’s the Difference and Which Is Right for You?

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For more than half of the population, feeling healthier is one of their main goals and things they feel would make their lives better. They want to be able to move freely and do the things they want to do without pain or exhaustion.

A key to being able to meet that goal is exercising and moving the body every day. But many aren’t ready to jump into hardcore weight lifting or cardio options. This is where low-impact options like pilates or yoga are great choices. The two get confused and pilates vs yoga is a common question with a lot of people thinking they’re the same thing.

The two exercise styles are actually quite different and will each have their own set of benefits. We’ve broken it all down for you so you can choose which would be best for you and your body.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a type of exercise that dates back to the 1920s. It’s since continued to grow in popularity and even has entire studios dedicated to this single movement type. This is largely due to the fact that it can be done by a wide range of people with very minimal risk compared to other exercise options.

A typical Pilates class will consist of a series of repetitive motions to try to improve strength and flexibility. A core tenant of the practice is combining those two elements.

In some cases, a pilates class can involve specific equipment called a pilates reformer (or other options) which intensifies the movements and difficulty level. But it can also be done with simple resistance bands or bodyweight for similar results.

The main goal of the Pilates workouts is to strengthen the connection between body and mind while developing key muscles for overall health.

What are the Benefits of Pilates?

For a lot of people, one of the harder parts about getting into exercise is dealing with weak joints. The heavy impact classes can cause more damage than do good in the long run.

Pilates is completely low impact and won’t cause those same problems for those who practice it. In fact, a lot of pilates workouts are designed to target those areas for more strength and stability. Those who are consistently doing these exercises will see an improvement in posture, core strength, and stability.

At the same time, they’ll likely see an improvement in their flexibility as well. A lot of the exercises include an element of stretching which gives that double punch.

Those who are practicing pilates will feel like they had a hardcore workout because they’ll be building lean muscle. But also like they had a great meditation session with a lot of stress relief at the same time.

What is Yoga?

Yoga has a much longer history and has essentially always been around in one form or another. People have been seeing the benefits of this ancient practice for thousands of years.

In essence, yoga is a slow, concentrated method of stretching while working on your mental strength and clarity as well.

Someone who is practicing yoga will move through a series of poses, pausing to hold each one. The movement is fluid and often done to relaxing instrumental music in the background. Each class has a goal of getting a little deeper stretch into the pose and stronger in your ability to hold them.

Meditation and relaxation are crucial elements to the experience as well. One of the main goals is to reduce stress and anxiety through breathing exercises and other calming techniques.

What are the Benefits of Yoga?

One of the most obvious benefits (and the main reason people are so drawn to this option), it the reduction of stress you can find after a class. There are so many tools you can learn in a yoga class that can be used outside in real-life hard situations.

But yoga is more than a time to relax and unwind. When practiced correctly, it can also burn a lot of calories, build muscles, and improve flexibility like other types of exercise options. The trick is finding the right type of yoga practice to meet your specific needs and goals.

Yoga can be much less intimidating for those first getting into moving their body on a regular basis. And it’s easy to follow along with a class, modifying to your ability level along the way.

Which is Right for Me?

While one can see the similarities between these two exercise options, the difference between yoga and pilates is also clear. They have different methods and even different desired outcomes for those participating.

When choosing which class you’d like to go to, it’s helpful to evaluate what you’re really looking for in your exercise experience.

Once you know that answer, you can look at these options and decide which will better help you get there. If you’re looking to have a calm experience where you can get centered and focused while having a good workout, yoga is likely the better choice. And if you’re looking more for the muscle building and toning option while still protecting your joints, Pilates is for you!

Both will help you experience a happier, healthier life when done on a regular basis, there’s really no wrong choice here!

Pilates Vs Yoga

The good news is, in the pilates vs yoga debate there is no loser. Both options can bring you closer to your health goals and improve your flexibility, strength, and overall wellness.

After you’ve made your decision, the key is to be as consistent as you can as that’s where you’ll see the biggest changes. That’s made a lot easier when you love the place you exercise at. You want to feel supported by the instructors and like you have people on your side to help you along the path.

If you’re in need of this kind of wellness experience, contact us today to hear more about our class options and how to get started!

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