Pilates vs. Yoga: Which is Best for You?

Pilates and yoga exercise classes are often grouped together for their common bond of bringing the mind and body together, but the origins and approaches towards fitness make them different. Taking a deeper look into each exercise method can help you decide which one is best for you.

Yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago and is still widely practiced today. There are many different types of yoga, but all of them bring the mind and body together with a heavy emphasis of the spirit. Yoga can be very spiritual and uses different types of breathing and meditation. Yoga is also emphasizes increasing flexibility of the muscles and also the joints.

Pilates originated mid-20th century by the athlete, Joseph Pilates. Pilates has a heavy focus on strengthening numerous muscles in the body with an emphasis on the core and back muscles. Many athletes and dancers will add Pilates into their training to help gain that strength in their core.

Yoga classes have a great deal of flexibility in their routines since there are many poses and breathing techniques to use. Your class will vary greatly based on your type of yoga and the instructor teaching it. Pilates have more structure in comparison, with fewer moves to learn.

Many loyal yoga followers use yoga to relieve stress. With a focus on breathing and tapping into your spiritual side, it’s a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Pilates does not have that attribute to it. The moves are still very fluid and with concentration, but the emphasis is strength and core.

Still trying to figure out which class style is best for you? The best way to find out is to go try them both out! Many local health clubs offer both yoga and Pilates classes and there are private studios as well that specialize in each. Remember that yoga has the greatest flexibility in class structure so if you try it one time and do not like it, try it again with another instructor or with a different type of yoga. Both yoga and Pilates will aid in strength and flexibility. Breathe deeply and feel more connected with your mind and body.

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