Pilates is usually considered to be a physical activity rather than a cardiovascular workout. Both Pilates and yoga usually share the same technology and aim towards developing and strengthening of the muscles. Both the forms of exercises focus on the muscles of the arms, legs, abdomen and back.

  • Yoga is a physical fitness regime originated in Northern part of India, in ancient period. The history of yoga dates back to almost five thousand years ago. Pilates is not an ancient practice as yoga. It is just eighty years old and invented by a German athlete, Joseph Pilates.
  • Pilates method, although inspired by certain yoga poses, is a complicated system. It works towards conditioning the entire body. Yoga, however is explained as a lifestyle, instead of just an exercise. It works towards offering a path to physical and mental well-being. It also includes all the exercise routines in conjunction with a healthy diet, relaxation, meditation, and breathing skills.
  • Pilates focus on developing the core strength inside the body and elongating the spine. This form of exercise would enhance strength and spread awareness on proper posture. Yoga basically emphasizes on the union of body with mind and spirit and works on the whole body. Yoga helps in relieving stress.
  • Both Pilates and yoga focus on breathing and concentration. The basic difference is that yoga focuses on employing breathing process on a deeper level. Pilates includes inhaling via nose and exhaling through the mouth and yoga concentrates on utilizing the nose for both inhaling and exhaling
  • Yoga includes many styles and all these styles are usually performed in a group on a yoga mat; with the help of instructions offered by a yoga teacher. Although Pilates work on Pilates mat, but it also emphasizes on certain Pilates machines in order to build machines.
  • Pilates does not require any sort of extra props such as blocks, straps and blankets whereas yoga does

Health benefits

Muscles are never worked to exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions, usually 5-10 times, over a session of one and a quarter to one and a half hours. Mat work and specialized equipment for resistance is used.

The Pilates method is taught on an individual basis and exercises are regularly re-evaluated to ensure they are right for each individual. Due to the individual attention given, this method suits everybody from elite athletes to people with limited mobility, pregnant women and people with low fitness levels.

Classes are held in specialized Pilates studios, physiotherapy clinics or at your local leisure facility or community center.

The health benefits of Pilates include:

  • Improved muscle strength and tone
  • Increased flexibility and strength of the abdominals and back (core strength)
  • Improved posture and rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • Improved concentration
  • Increased body awareness
  • Stress management and relaxation.

Yoga

The classical techniques of yoga date back more than 5,000 years. The practice of yoga encourages effort, intelligence, accuracy, thoroughness, commitment and dedication.

The word yoga means ‘to join or yoke together’. It brings the body and mind together and is built on three main structures – exercise, breathing and meditation.

The exercises of yoga are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. Breathing techniques performed during yoga increase breath control to improve the health and function of body and mind. The two systems of exercise and breathing prepare the body and mind for meditation, with an approach to a quiet mind that allows silence and healing from everyday stress. When practiced regularly, yoga can become a powerful and sophisticated discipline for achieving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

There are many various forms of yoga, each with its own emphasis. The most popular forms of yoga are Ananda (Hatha), Bikram, Iyengar and Sivananda.

Classes usually have 10-20 participants, allowing individual attention.

The practice of yoga asanas (postures) develops strength and flexibility, while soothing the nerves and calming the mind. The asanas affect the muscles, joints and skin, and the whole human body – glands, nerves, internal organs, bones, respiration and the brain. The benefits of yoga include:

  • Improved muscular and postural strength
  • Increased flexibility of the muscles and joints
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Reduced pain and muscle stiffness
  • Enhanced ability to concentrate
  • Improved energy levels and ability to cope with stress.

Sources: Kids Health , Pilates

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