This seems to be a commonly asked question, over the years. We might be thinking which practice is better for strength and flexibility? The differences between Pilates vs Yoga is not the answer here. Let’s explore the main differences here.
First main difference
The breathing is the first thing to discuss. Pilates practitioners use the diaphragmatic or 3-part breath. It involves the upper respiratory, the lower respiratory, and the diaphragm. Inhaling through the nose, filing the lungs with air and exploring through the mouth, until the lungs empty.
Yoga has over 500 documented breathing patterns. The most common breathing pattern called the ujjayi breath involves a 3-part breath, like Pilates breathing, however, the inhale and exhale are both with a closed mouth. The exhale is an ocean-like sound in the back of your throat.
Both practices are great for you
Whether you practice Yoga or Pilates, your body and mind will benefit from either practice. The most ideal thing to do is to engage in both practices, in my opinion. There are many benefits that are shared between the practices.
- Improved lung capacity
- Better circulation
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Great digestion
- Increased strength
- Increased flexibility
- Less back pain
- Less joint pain
The Pilates method was created in the late 1800s and brought to New York City in 1920 by a man named Joseph Pilates. Ballet dancers still use Pilates, both mat and apparatus or equipment, in their dance studios across the world today. Pilates on equipment may include the Reformer, Cadillac, Tower, Wunda Chair, Barrel, and may involve smaller props like the long box, light hand weights, a Magic Circle, neck pillows, or a trapeze. Mat Pilates uses no equipment and can be practiced anywhere with a mat. Pilates classes are taught and learned in levels, beginning with level 1 through level 5.
One can achieve the total benefits of Pilates in just 2 days a week, at a level 1 or 2 class. 10 minutes of Pilates engages more muscles than 10 minutes of any other strength training practice! Pilates has repetitions and uses every small intrinsic muscle in the front, back and sides of the body in each exercise. There is an emphasis on moving with your breath and maintaining the spinal function, which uses core strength. The whole body, from head to toe, gets stronger and more flexible. We should use Pilates as an alternative strength training practice and improve flexibility. There is NO impact on the joints when practicing either mat or apparatus Pilates.
I find Yoga to be grounding and thoroughly enjoy both meditation and chanting sessions. There are 1,000 lineages of Yoga, for example, Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram or Hot Yoga, Acro Yoga, Restorative Yoga and more. The goal for your Yoga practice may change daily. One day you may need meditation and breathing more than an intense physical Yoga practice. Yoga can be practiced every day or as needed. There are so many wonderful benefits to a daily practice.
Yoga is a broad general term these days and actually means “union” in Sanskrit theory and can be dated to B.C. Classes can be found all over the world in classes, studios, homes, and outdoors. Guided meditation classes are becoming more popular today. It is essential to understand what type of Yoga you want/need before you jump into a Yoga class. For instance, not everyone likes Hot Yoga! If strength is your goal, a Power Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga may work best for you. If relaxation is your goal, Restorative or Yoga Nidra would work for you.
Discussion and endnotes
We may have certain fitness goals to achieve or want to try something new. If you have any more questions about either Pilates or Yoga, please reach anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or book your next session or a free demonstration on our booking page https://thepilatesroomnh.com/book-an-appointment/
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