Pilates or yoga? It is a difficult choice. Both can help you obtain a killer bikini body, but how do you choose which is right for you? Before you get overwhelmed with all the options that are out there, it’s good to have a basic knowledge of their differences.
Even though they are often compared with one another, Pilates and yoga have very different origins. Pilates was invented in the 1900’s by a man named Joseph Pilates. It originally became popular in the dance communities because it helped increase spine and core strength. Yoga was started over 5000 years ago in India and brought to the United States in the early 1900’s by monks. It has branched out to include many different disciplines, but they mostly remain true to the original emphasis.
With both Pilates and yoga, the mind/body connection is an important one. Both disciplines require focus and mental strength that will serve you even after you leave the studio. With yoga though, there is a spiritual connection added to the equation. Yoga is seeped with ancient tradition and many classes include meditation and chanting. Yoga also focuses on the breath.
Strength and flexibility are some of the greatest benefits of Pilates and yoga. A Pilates class can take place on a mat or on a machine called a reformer. For a more challenging workout, there are megaformers. This is considered to be a power Pilates class. There is a plethora of different yoga practices, all of which take place on a mat and may use props, such as blocks, blankets and straps.
With both Pilates and yoga, your own body resistance is a staple for gaining strength, even if you’re using a reformer. One of the most evident differences between Pilates and yoga involves the areas that are addressed. In a Pilates class, you will get a total body workout, but many of the exercises revolve around core strength. With yoga, it’s about balance. The muscles are worked equally and poses are complemented by counter poses.
Both Pilates and yoga offer many benefits, so ultimately the decision is a difficult one. The best thing to do is to try out a sampling of classes to see which is the best fit for you.