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Pilates vs. Yoga: What Are the Differences?

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Pilates vs. Yoga

Pilates vs. Yoga

Are you thinking of taking up Pilates vs. yoga but don’t know which one is for you?

As low-impact, pose-centric forms of exercise, many people confuse Pilates and yoga with one another. Both of them focus on body movement and breathing, keep you fit, and engage various muscle groups without the use of anything other than your bodyweight resistance. That’s where the similarities end.

Both are great options for someone looking to improve their health, so keep reading and learn more about each.

What Is Pilates?

The Pilates practice was created in the early 1900s by a man named Joseph Pilates who used them as a way to rehabilitate injured soldiers during WWI. Taking influence from yoga and martial arts, he developed and refined the technique in America during the years after the war.

Rather than the flow of movement that yoga is famous for, Pilates has you adopt a position and stabilize it with your back and core muscles. From there, you move your arms and legs in a variety of movements that challenge the core and improve your range of motion and flexibility.

Benefits of Pilates

When you get tips from an experienced Pilates guide, you can develop proper techniques and learn some of the basic principles behind them. Some of the benefits include better muscle strength, improved flexibility, and decreased joint pain.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga, on the other hand, is an ancient practice with unknown Indian origins – it’s at least 5,000 years old. It has deep ties with mindfulness meditation and the major Eastern religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Bon, etc.), focusing on breathwork, relaxation, and positive thinking.

If you seek a yoga guide, you’ll find there are numerous types of yoga practices, both in history and in use today. The emphasis of almost all of them is the combined focus on physical activity and the mind. In yoga, unlike Pilates, you go through a series of poses, either holding them or working through a flow of them.

Yoga Benefits

The physical and mental benefits of yoga practice are well-documented. It’s the rare form of exercise that can help to keep you physically fit while improving the qualities of your mental health at the same time.

Yoga has been shown to have a positive effect on mental conditions, like anxiety, depression, stress, and PTSD. It’s also proven to help improve symptoms of physical ailments, like arthritis, MS, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, and respiratory conditions.

Pilates Vs. Yoga: Which Is Best for You?

Now that you better understand the Pilates vs. yoga debate, you can try each one out and decide which is best for you. There are undeniable health benefits to both practices and either would be a worthwhile undertaking, so listen to your mind and body and get healthy ASAP.

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