Yoga vs. Pilates

Health & Beauty / Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Yoga and Pilates are both great options for exercise. While they are often confused for being stretching exercise, they each offer different benefits to the body and mind. Exercise is an essential part of physical and mental health, so read on to see if you can incorporate either of these practices into your lifestyle.

Body Strength and Flexibility

You will gain strength and flexibility to varying degrees with these exercises. In a recent study, after eight weeks of doing yoga three times a week, participants boosted their total body flexibility by an average of 24 percent. In a test of strength, they managed an average of six more push-ups and 14 more curl-ups. Pilates tends to be better at strengthening the abdominal muscles, and more effective at tightening the hard-to-target obliques. Overall flexibility should also improve, particularly in the back, hip, and hamstrings. If you are looking to increase your overall flexibility, Yoga seems to be the better option. While yoga acts as a strengthening exercise, Pilates is more efficient in strengthening the hard to reach core muscles for that tight tummy. Pilates will still allow you to work on your flexibility.

Mind and Body Differences

The purpose of Yoga is to unite the mind, body, and spirit. Teachers of Yoga see the mind and body as one whole structure.Yoga is considered to be a therapeutic activity. It gives your body more flexibility and promotes relaxation even in the most stressful of times.In Yoga, several movements are performed on an exercise mat, and the weight of the body is used as a resistance to the exercise. This takes a great amount of focus, and the flow in and out of each position is fluid.

Pilates has many of the same goals in mind, but the major difference between Pilates and Yoga is that in addition to mat work, there can be different exercise machines involved. Pilates works out the entire body in addition to the mind. The focus is on the core of the body so the rest can freely move and this makes your body stronger both on the inside and out.

Breathing Differences

Focused and intentional breathing are both benefits of these exercises. When comparing the differences between Pilates vs. Yoga, the breathing techniques as you will find out, differ quite a bit.  In yoga, the breathing exercises help you to achieve relaxation. Throughout Yoga routine, it is important to continuously concentrate on how the breath is being employed.  Concentrating on the breathing technique throughout Pilates will help you to manage the quantity of oxygen coming into the body and traveling to the muscles to help them become more relaxed.

Weight Loss

Yoga and Pilates are both wonderful for toning and strengthening all of the muscles groups in your body, but when it comes to Pilates vs. Yoga weight loss advantages, there is not a massive difference in how much weight you will lose. If you are trying to lose weight, you could try Pilates exercises using different Pilates machine which adds the cardio and fitness element to your Pilates poses and will help you to burn additional calories

If you’re focused on burning calories,  a 50-minute Hatha class will burn about 145 calories and a power yoga class, about 250. If your goal is dropping pounds, experts recommend you do a high-intensity activity, like jogging. One study found that people who practiced yoga regularly gained less weight during their midlife years than their nonpracticing peers. With pilates, you can expect a 50-minute beginner workout to burn about 175 calories and an advanced workout, between 255 and 375 calories.

Heart Health

Hatha yoga provides little cardio benefit and power yoga does a bit better, giving the heart the same aerobic workout as a brisk stroll. Pilates offers a beginner routine provides only a mild aerobic challenge, at the level of a slow walk. An advanced class is better, kicking the heart rate up to that of speed walking. To get that heart pumping, its best to combine either of these with an aerobic exercise.

Go and Try!

Now that you have the main overview of differences between Pilates and yoga, you might have a clearer idea of which is best for you. If you’re still not sure, it’s a good idea to try both to see which a better fit for your body, lifestyle, and workout routine.

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