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Pilates or Yoga?

What’s the difference between Yoga and Pilates.

Yoga and pilates are often thrown into the same category as each other as being the same thing. True they are similar practices but there is some major differences between pilates and yoga that many people are unaware of.

Well pilates is a much younger practice beginning in the mid 20th century for rehabilitation and strengthening, yoga has been around for over 5,000 years originating in India. It has evolved over many centuries and cultures bringing about many different styles of yoga.

Both Yoga and pilates bring awareness that the mind body connection is important and made through these practices. They both offer flexibility, strength, stress-relief, control and endurance. The biggest difference between the two is the emphasis on the spiritual component in classes. Exploring spirituality is a huge part of yoga especially through meditation. Pilates classes don’t offer an obvious spiritual experience however the slower pace pilates can be meditative and stress relieving. Yoga focuses on the mind/body/spirit connection, while pilates focuses on an understanding on making a mind body connection and how we can use this to help us in our everyday lifestyle.

The best way to see and experience the difference between these two practices is from the classes.

Pilates classes are focused on strength, body control, muscle toning with the main emphasis being around core strength. Pilates needs to be practiced and done on a regular basis to provide benefit and see results. There are now many types of pilates available from matt work, to using props and equipment and now even reformer machines.

Yoga focuses on flexibility and broad muscles groups. Yoga offers, strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and spirituality. Classes can range from gentle and nourishing to challenging and sweaty. Another element that yoga offers is mediation many yoga classes have a short mediation of chant to finish of the class. If you like to move and go with the flow, with a variety of classes there will be something that you will enjoy when taking up yoga.

So the big questions remains, which practice is for me? Which one do i choose?

Why choose one when you can have them both? There is no one saying you can’t incorporate both of these practices into your lifestyle for more benefit.

Consider your fitness level and priorities and build your practice from here. If you’re in great shape and want to burn some extra calories work on endurance, manage your stress and have that spiritual side incorporated maybe yoga is for you. If you are wanting to gain more core strength and work on your back pilates may be the fit for you.

If you don’t know where to start then try them both out and choose from there. If you’re leaning towards one or the other still try them both and decide which is the best fit for you. The main thing is that you want to pick a practice that you enjoy and you can do on a regular basis.

Always remember there is nothing stopping you from incorporating both these practices into your lifestyle.

Enjoy x

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