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  • Pilates vs Yoga

    The benefits of Yoga and Pilates are well known and the two methods share some noticeable similarities. Both are famous for their ability to calm the mind whilst also stretching and strengthening the body.

    At Choreographytogo we believe that these two practices are great in their own way.

    There are differences between the two practices however, the main one being the spiritual component of yoga. Meditation and chants are common in yoga classes, but you can also find meditation elements in your Pilates/ Fitness Pilates classes too.

    Joseph Pilates devised Pilates with the aim of uniting mind, body, and spirit. So, although most people might not be aware of it, Pilates does have a spiritual and mindful quality.


    Best For Relaxation

    For most people, yoga would win this category hands-down. And it is true that there is a more obvious focus on relaxation in yoga; deep breathing, purposeful movement and the spiritual element make it an intrinsic part of this movement form. Some classes also end with a dedicated period of peace-inducing meditation.

    However, Pilates can also be relaxing and a great way to reduce stress. This is because Pilates exercises force you to inhale and exhale deeply and fully. This encourages good breathing habits, which has a calming influence on the nervous system.

    Like Yoga, Pilates is also a mindful practice. This is because performing Pilates movements correctly requires complete focus on what is happening inside your body. This encourages you to be mentally present in your Pilates classes.

    A mindful state is a calm one, so performing Pilates with this emphasis can make it relaxing.


    Best For Strength

    Pilates is probably best known for its ability to strengthen and lengthen the body. At the same time, having to hold poses for a long duration does mean that yoga is a great way to improve in these areas too.

    However, it is also important to remember that yoga is first and foremost a spiritual practice. Pilates exercises, on the other hand, were designed to make the body work at an optimum level.

    So while yoga can do wonders and help to build strength and lengthen your body, Pilates promises a workout targeted at strengthening your body and making sure it is functioning at its best.

    Best For Injury And Recovery

    In terms of injury rehabilitation, Pilates is the practice often favoured by Osteopaths and Physiotherapists. That’s not to say that Yoga can’t be beneficial – it is just not so widely used in that way.

    Best For Flexibility

    There’s no denying that yoga’s hip-opening moves, downward dogs and backbends will get your body moving and mobilising in all directions and over time it can increase flexibility and enable you to move bigger and deeper.

    But at the same time, Pilates is also a great tool for increasing flexibility as,  as outlined already, it focuses on strengthening and lengthening your muscles and encouraging them to work through their full range making them feel longer.

    You’ll notice things like spine mobility and hamstring length improve with regular Pilates classes. If you combine both yoga and Pilates into your workout or rehabilitation regime then there’s no doubt both will compliment each other and you’ll be able to reap the benefits from both.


    Best For Cardio

    This really depends on the type of Pilates or yoga class you choose to attend.

    Regular Pilates might not get your heart rate up a huge amount, but choose a Fitness Pilates class and you will definitely feel the effects.

    Similarly, yoga can be sweaty and provide a good cardio workout if you choose bikram, vinyasa or any other class with an intense flow.

    What Comes Out On Top?

    So, yoga or Pilates? Ultimately this depends on your individual needs and wants from a practice.

    As we have demonstrated, yoga and Pilates offer amazing benefits. And, either in combination or separately, both methods can help transform your body and mind.

    The most important thing, however, is to choose one that you like and that you can commit to regularly.

    Do you have a passion for Pilates? Learn all about our Instructor training courses

    Level 3 Pilates Diploma for those with no previous qualifications wanting to teach pilates 

    Fitness Pilates Training Course for those with a Level 2 Fitness Qualification or above

    All of our courses are held online!

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