Millions of people are interested in an exercise program that will help improve their overall body health. Some of these people have expressed an interest in both the Pilates exercise and yoga programs, but not sure what would be best for them. There are definitely benefits of each of these programs and the ways in which they are similar and different. Read on to discover the answers to these questions.

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is made up of over 600 exercises and variations using matwork and specialized equipment. The Pilates exercise system was developed after the First World War and was designed to rehabilitate soldiers.

It served its purpose for many years and still is great for different groups of people that include: sedentary lifestyle, those needing rehabilitation, people under stress and anxiety, pregnant women or professional athletes. Experts have shown that Pilates has improved the quality of life including decreasing depression and back pain. Other benefits of Pilates include: increases core strength, improves posture, decreases back pain, increases energy, prevents injuries, increases body awareness, decreases stress, reduces menstrual pain, improves flexibility, mobility and balance, improves cognitive function, enhances sports performance, boosts your mood, keeps bones strong, improves sleep and encourages playfulness (thanks to all the props we have :).

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has been around for centuries and is well known for connecting your body and mind and flow type of workouts. Exercise is just one component of yoga practice in addition to regular detox, meditation, breathing techniques and implementing lifestyle changes.

Johns Hopkins Institute has shown these benefits for those who perform yoga exercises as a part of their daily regimen. They include improving strength, balance, and flexibility, decreasing back pain, easing arthritis symptoms, improving heart health, improving relaxation and sleeping patterns, giving you a better mood, increasing energy levels, helping you manage stress and anxiety, connecting you with a supportive community, promoting better self-care, improves breathing, increases weight loss, improves circulation and gives you inner peace.

What’s Similar Between Pilates and Yoga?

You probably already noticed that a number of benefits overlap and are very similar in a way. Basic similarities between Pilates and yoga include:

  • Both exercise forms get you moving. One of the best ways to a healthy body is becoming mobile. People who lead a sedentary lifestyle are creating weaker organs that may lead to heart disease and other breakdowns of your body.
  • Both give you a higher degree of flexibility which is important when you are bending, picking up items or running around behind your kids on a daily basis. A flexible body is a healthy body that will help with movement throughout your day.
  • Both Pilates and yoga keep your mind sharp and improve your mind-body connection. There is nothing better than having a high level of cognitive functioning. A sharp brain allows you to stay focused on what you need to get done throughout the day. Both are good exercise programs for those who are in rehabilitation after injuries or a long period of immobility.
  • Both Pilates exercise and yoga programs are less strenuous on the bones and joints allowing young and old to have a successful Pilates or yoga program. Even though they are both considered as low/medium impact exercises, you will break some sweat and feel like you had a great workout!

What’s Different Between Pilates Exercises and Yoga?

yoga-vs-pilates-exerciseThe pilates exercise system focuses on body alignment, core strength and muscle balance.

Body Alignment is important as when your muscles on the right and left sides are equally strong, your posture is better and both sides work evenly. Otherwise, your body starts to compensate for the weaker side and adjusts by tilting, rotating or leaning to one side. Have you ever seen a crooked tree in a forest? It’s just had to adjust to the wind blowing from one side or the sun shining through a certain spot. That’s what happens in our body as well as nature gave our body amazing power to adjust to conditions we live in.

Core Strength is a corset of muscles to support the stability of our spine.

Muscle Balance is a way how our right and left sides work and also opposing muscle groups. Sometimes if you are engaged in an activity whether at work or in a sport that is very repetitive (like running or working at a conveyor line) makes one group of muscles overworked that causes imbalance and even can lead to an injury.

Yoga is an exercise program more focused on the unity of the mind, body and spirit. It looks at the body as a whole system and supports not only your physical but also emotional and spiritual health. It is very powerful and would be a better option for people struggling not only with physical health but also dealing with stress or other emotional conditions.

I hope you can now make a better decision over which program will work best for you. Remember that the main objective is to get started with an exercise program that will get your body moving and practice it consistently.

We offer private and group Pilates classes with mat and pilates reformer and stability chair, plus registered Physiotherapy services in Milton, Halton Hills, Georgetown and Mississauga area. Please get in touch to see how we can help to start your health journey!