Yoga or Pilates

Yoga or Pilates?


Yoga or Pilates? Although quite similar practices and often put in the same category, there are some major differences that many people are unaware of, making it easy to confuse yoga or Pilates. And because there are many different types of yoga and Pilates, determining the key differences can be confusing. However, here are some key distinctions that may help you choose which practices best suit your needs.

1. Origin

Yoga originated in India more than 5000 years ago and has evolved into many different types: Ashtanga, Kripalu, Bikram and Vineyasa, to name just a few.

Pilates was created in the mid-20th century by an athlete named Joseph Pilates who created the exercises as a form of rehabilitation and strengthening. However dance is what made Pilates really popular when it was used by dancers to help them become stronger in their training and performance.

2. Spiritual

Although both yoga and Pilates focus on understanding that the mind and body are connected, yoga also adds spirituality to the mix through meditation. This can be very effective in helping combat depression and anxiety.

3. The Class

Many yoga classes tend to be flexible in routine with the many thousands of postures and sequences combined into a routine by the style of yoga and your specific teacher.

Pilates’ classes are a bit more structured and you’ll more likely know what to expect when you walk into a Pilates class.

And because of the additional emphasis on spirituality in yoga, chanting and meditation may often be used for focus at the beginning and to seal in and appreciate the benefits at the end.

4. The Workout

You’ll gain strength and flexibility in both practices however there is a difference in emphasis. Pilates’ classes offer a total body workout with regimented movements focussing on aligning the spine and strengthening the core. Some classes may use machines to gain strength, while others keep you on the mat using your body’s resistance.

In yoga, you’ll work out every muscle in your body equally, with each posture accompanied by a counter-posture to ensure balance in your body. While core strength is definitely important in yoga, it’s not its entire focus. Yoga can also be used more effectively for improving the flexibility of the body and joints.

Although both practices are suitable for toning the abdominal muscles, Pilates’ exercises are a lot more intense and results may be achieved more quickly.

Both practices can give excellent results for back pain with stronger and more supportive back muscles.

And there’s not a massive difference in how much weight you’ll lose with either practice, although using different Pilates’ cardio and fitness machines may help burn additional calories.

5. The Breathing Techniques

Breathing and concentration are important to both practices, however in yoga, breathing exercises are designed to help achieve relaxation, and there’ll often be segments in the class focussing on breath work called pranayama.

With Pilates, the breath is used more as a technique of providing the muscles with the energy they need to exercise effectively.

Yoga or Pilates? Which one’s best for you?

If you’re still not sure, our advice is have a try at both and see for yourself! Both yoga or Pilates are a very enjoyable way to strengthen your muscles, get your body in better shape, relieve stress and gain more flexibility.

Use custom made yoga & pilates clothing and accessories

And of course it’s essential to have the right accessories & clothing and Manuka offers an excellent range designed to facilitate sweating and flexibility.