Thinking about doing a yoga or Pilates class but not sure which one is for you? Both are very popular and on the surface they seem pretty similar, so how do you choose? Here’s a brief overview of yoga and Pilates to help you decide which one is right for you.
What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga is the Sanskrit word for “union”, referring to the connection between the body, breath and mind. With origins in ancient India, Yoga has been around for thousands of years. There are many varieties of modern yoga including Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin.
Most people are familiar with physical aspects of yoga like the poses and movements but it also includes spiritual and mental practices used to cultivate self-awareness, health and happiness. Many types of yoga involve meditation at some point during the exercise.
By focusing on the mind and body, yoga delivers a wide range of physical and mental health benefits including enhanced strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, concentration and energy levels. Yoga also reduces joint soreness and stress levels and has positive impacts on the endocrine, nervous, skeletal, digestive and respiratory systems.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Pilates was created in the 1920s by the physical trainer Joseph Pilates for the purpose of rehabilitation. Some of the first people treated by Pilates were soldiers returning from war and dancers to strengthen their bodies and heal their aches and pains. There are six key principles of Pilates: concentration, control, centering, breathing, flow and precision.
Pilates exercises lengthen, strengthen and stretch all major muscle groups. Pilates is great for conditioning, engaging core strength and improving flexibility. Along with its controlled patterns of movements and abdominal muscle control, Pilates classes incorporate deep breathing and breath control.
What’s the difference between yoga and Pilates?
Yoga and Pilates classes share some similarities such as a focus on mindful movement, breathing, core strength, flexibility, balance and body awareness. Yoga and Pilates are both great at improving posture and helping you achieve a long, strong and lean physique without adding bulk. However, Pilates is more focused on conditioning and doesn’t emphasise meditation and spirituality like yoga.
Do them both
Yoga and Pilates each have their merits. The best part is that you really don’t have to choose – combine Pilates with yoga and take your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing to another level.
At Re-Creation Malvern, we believe classes like yoga and Pilates are for everybody and everyone. We recommend you schedule a regular class as part of a balanced health and fitness regime.
All our classes are led by experienced and friendly instructors who will make you feel welcome. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of yoga and Pilates, you can speak to our expert instructors or even better, try them both out for yourself.