Yoga Or Pilates Which Is Best For You

Both yoga and Pilates are very popular exercise styles, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. While yoga and Pilates benefits are similar, the two exercise systems have different origins and require that practitioners reach their goals in different ways.

Yoga Benefits

Yoga benefits the mind, body and, according to practitioners, the spirit as well. Practiced for thousands of years in India, yoga asanas–or poses–strengthen the body, relieve stress and improve both flexibility and balance. Yoga also focuses on breathing and can be used as a form of meditation.
Yoga practitioners claim that asanas improve the internal organs by increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the organs and facilitating the flow of prana, or body energy. Regular practice of yoga is also supposed to stimulate the endocrine system, which regulates hormonal levels. Other yoga benefits include improved digestion, stress reduction and a stronger respiratory system. While not all claims of yoga benefits are scientifically proven, people who practice yoga regularly report a general improvement in mental and physical health.
Yoga has had centuries to develop, and several different yogic schools exist. Some schools focus more on physical yoga benefits, while others explore the more spiritual sides of yoga. No particular school is better than any other, but you may find that one type of yoga fits your personal needs more than others.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a much younger exercise system than yoga. Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates focuses on strengthening the core muscles of the body, including the abdominals, lower back muscles and the stabilizing muscles. Pilates practitioners often refer to these muscles collectively as the “powerhouse.”
Pilates benefits are, in many ways, similar to the benefits of yoga. Like yoga, Pilates benefits include muscle toning, balance, posture and flexibility. Unlike yoga, a Pilates workout often includes repetitions of the same exercise, but also emphasizes breathing and concentrating on performing individual movements correctly.
Pilates benefits have been acknowledged by physical therapists, who often incorporate Pilates into rehabilitation programs. Pilates can be practiced using only a mat, like yoga, or you can incorporate equipment such as exercise balls. Pilates may also use specially designed Pilates machines, which add extra weight training to a Pilates workout. Because Pilates emphasizes smooth transitions from one low-impact movement to another, Pilates machines are safer to use than most weight-training equipment.

Yoga or Pilates?

Whether you choose yoga or Pilates really depends on your personal preferences. You can practice both disciplines at home with a yoga or Pilates mat, although if you want to access specialized Pilates machines you may need to seek out a Pilates studio.
Both yoga and Pilates emphasize the oneness of body and mind, although yoga includes a spiritual element not found in Pilates. Both disciplines also focus on breathing and