Yoga and Pilates are two fitness techniques that seem to always be linked with one another. You can see why they are regarded as similar, as both use different positions to push the flexibility of your body, but there are actually a surprising amount of differences between the two. Once you know these, you might decide that one or the other is the right fit for you, or perhaps you will want to try both. In order to help you decide, here are a few of the basics, along with some of the key differences between yoga and Pilates.
Yoga is the older brother of Pilates in some way. Where yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, pilates was conceived in only the last century or so. Joseph Pilates was a yoga practitioner and athlete, who came up with the new techniques and system for which his name is now known.
The main difference between yoga and pilates is the focus of each one. Yoga is intended to give a person peace of mind, relaxing their body and soul at once. Pilates is more about body strengthening and flexibility. It is for this reason that dancers are more prone to practicing pilates, as it can help them to tone and strengthen their bodies in preparation for their art.
Both yoga and pilates are excellent forms of exercise. They are both proven ways of relieving stress and increasing overall fitness. Pilates is great for someone who wants to tone their body and strengthen muscles without bulking up at a gym. You will strengthen parts of your body and improve your posture with the techniques that are used You can also learn effective breathing techniques through pilates. Yoga is a great way to relax physically and mentally. The breathing techniques are slightly more advanced, but still effective. It works well at treating your inner organs, and is a great way to detox.
Whether you decide on yoga or pilates, or indeed both, it is mostly about personal preference. Both are great ways to exercise your body and can only do good, so you cannot go wrong either way. The best way to choose is to think about what you want to get out of it. If you are looking to tone up, increase flexibility, strengthen an area such as your back, and improve your posture, them pilates is probably the best fit for you. If you are looking for a great way to de-stress and condition both your mind and your body, then yoga is probably your better option. Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a class and try out each one, and you can decide from there. A fair warning though, once you try them out, you may like it and end up hooked on both!
Vanessa Endin is a freelance writer for AspiringNurse.com. She helps students learn how to become a nurse and then helps them find the best program to suit their needs.