Yoga versus Pilates. Which are you most suited to?


Both can dramatically improve your health. But which to choose?

One way or another, we are all living stressful lives. Even if you are happy with your career and personal situation, chances are that work pressure is getting to your mind. A good work out is the key to keep the mind fresh and body active. With a hectic schedule, cardio and weights can further add to stiffness in body and build pressure on the mind.

Not everyone likes to undergo intensive exercises after a long day at work. On the other hand, yoga and Pilates seem to offer mental peace, owing to the soothing techniques involved. Both are low impact workouts and do not require a lot of physical exertion. This helps maintain a healthy body without having to undergo intense workout sessions. Both these exercise forms have their benefits and limitations, and should be chosen accordingly.

Developed in Germany in the early 20th century, Pilates was mainly developed for use by wounded German soldiers to assist in their rehabilitation. Pilates offer a lot of benefits including endurance and increased muscle strength. Regular Pilates improve the body’s flexibility and help with correct posture as well.

Focusing on small movements of the body Pilates employ the back’s stabilizing muscles to regulate contraction of muscles for a relaxed body. Since its development, Pilates has been used for dealing with back problems and assist in recovery from muscular injuries. Recommended by physiotherapists, Pilates help strengthen and stabilize the joint muscles to ensure that the body maintains its flexibility and you don’t get joint pain.

Pilates has also garnered attention as a healing technique for the mind and body after a physical accident or a traumatic experience. Pilates has been known to help bring a sense of balance to the life of trauma survivors and offers support in recovering from emotional and physical damage.

Pilates uses your mindfulness to connect your physical self with your thoughts. Yoga on the other hand uses the body to connect your mind with your soul and inner self. Yoga focuses on the spiritual element, as its origin is also based in spiritualism.

Having been around for more than 3000 years, needless to say, yoga has proven its value as a healing practice for the mind and body. The meditation technique believes in the power of positive thinking. Yoga has many different types, but the essence is to focus on breathing and clearing the mind of negative thoughts to achieve inner peace and mental relaxation.

It is the perfect amalgamation of mind-body exercise that caters to both mental and physical health. By combining physical activity with relaxation techniques, yoga helps keep the mind and body alert. Yoga is known to have helped with medical issues such as anxiety disorder, depression, breathing issues, high blood pressure, chronic pain and even diabetes.

Both yoga and Pilates need little to no equipment for exercise. For yoga, all you need is a mat. Pilates further requires a few props such as a Pilates ring or a block, depending on the technique you are going to use. Both of these practices have a keen focus on breathing techniques and the relaxation of muscles, and result in a soothing sensation for the mind and the body.

By emphasizing on improving the breathing techniques, these help with breathing issues and aid those suffering from respiratory diseases. These techniques require mental focus and help with anxiety issues as well. Built up anxiety and unaddressed issues can lead to severe depression. By incorporating yoga in daily routine, you can keep yourself from going down the spiral.

Yoga focuses on mental well-being and can help in keeping you sane by breaking down the negative thought train and making you focus on the more positive aspects of life. Besides, yoga is for everyone. There’s not a single person who won’t be able to benefit from it. The breathing techniques and the poses help the lungs to gather more oxygen, which leads to better respiratory health. Deep breaths and meditation is the key to a balanced mind and stable mental health.

Though, you shouldn’t dive straight into the advanced level poses. Not all yoga poses are suitable for beginners. One should start with more vanilla poses and take it further from there. If you have not been an exercise enthusiast, you should start with light yoga to clear your mind and stretch to get into the easier poses and meditate. Over time, you can try more poses and dedicate more time and energy to yoga for better health.

If you are an exercise enthusiast and want to try something that keeps you off your toes, try out a few Pilates sessions as it might be the right option for you. Pilates focuses on the core and deals with chronic back pain and muscle pain problems as well. For someone who is hyperactive, Pilates is the most logical choice.

Pilates are also more suitable for older adults whose bodies are now prone to back aches, joint problems or those who have suffered any injuries, as Pilates can help in slowly regaining better mobility by doing low-impact exercises. One should decide after consulting with a professional to first assess the nature of the injury so as to avoid putting extreme pressure on joints when trying to do Pilates.

Overall, both practices are a great way to freshen up the mind and keep the body in good shape. As long you are doing something to relax your mind and are giving breathing space to your body, it doesn’t matter whether you opt for yoga or Pilates. Exercise should be about having fun, as much as it is for maintaining good health.

Therefore, you should try out both these activities and then figure out which ones is the best for you. Choosing after experimenting with both and understanding the difference it will help you make an informed decision and opt for one that really agrees with your mind and body. By making these exercises a part of your daily routine, you’ll see visible improvement in your health and will be better able to focus on work and matters of personal life.


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