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Yoga and Pilates: the differences, the pros and cons of fitness trends

5 min read


fitness, lifestyle, editor’s choice
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Yoga and Pilates: the differences, the pros and cons of fitness trends
The contents

  • What is yoga
  • Pilates is a popular exercise system
  • Common features of yoga and Pilates
  • The main differences techniques
  • Is it possible to do both techniques independently
  • Stretching
  • The pros and cons of each training
  • The body or inner harmony: what to choose

Yoga and Pilates, at first glance, very similar. They combine slow movements, stretching exercises and breathing practice. All this complicates the choice for beginners. However, in reality these kinds of exercise are significant differences. To understand and to understand which of these disciplines is right for you, you need to compare and identify features and benefits as yoga and Pilates.

What is yoga

Yoga is a philosophy, a way of life in which the greatest attention is paid to spiritual growth, not physical training. When performing all exercises — asana — one should concentrate on its internal state, trying to escape from external stimuli.

Pilates is a popular exercise system

A set of exercises aimed at strengthening the muscle corset, was named after its Creator — Joseph Pilates. Initially, these exercises used for rehabilitation of injured athletes and dancers.

Now Pilates are chosen primarily by those who developed the necessary muscles for maintaining the spine and back strain is contraindicated or very undesirable. Exercises in the Pilates system gently pulls the vertebrae, improve your posture, strengthen the muscular corset.

Common features of yoga and Pilates

Common in yoga and Pilates is the following:

  • During training much attention is given to proper breathing.
  • Pilates is based on the asanas of yoga, only when they have a dynamic nature and are repeated 10 to 50 times.
  • Classes greatly improve physical condition: reduce the stiffness of muscles and joints, increase stamina, flexibility and muscle strength.
  • The lack of large loads on the spine and joints allows you to do Pilates and yoga for people with chronic diseases or after injuries.
  • There are special complexes for pregnant women, which give a gentle load and allow you to do up to the birth.
  • The main differences techniques

    The differences of the two systems are that:

    • Pilates focuses more on physical development, and yoga on the spiritual;
    • yoga has been known for three thousand years, and a Pilates — only about a hundred;
    • Pilates does not answer many questions, the answers to which are available yogīs, they relate mainly to the internal problems of man, not his physical sheath — body;
    • Pilates helps to lose weight, yoga in its purest form can get the metabolism, but to a considerable extent to rid the body of fat it is capable of.

    Another difference of yoga from Pilates is the following:

    • Pilates is aimed at the elaboration of a muscular corset;
    • yoga engages not only the muscles, joints and ligaments, and internal organs, using the work emotions and the subconscious.

    In Pilates it is important to check whether there are the body to more deeply work the muscles. When you perform asanas in yoga the focus is concentrated on the breath and internal sensations.

    Breathing is an important moment for yoga and Pilates. But if in the first case, it is recommended to breathe only a nose, in the second the inhalation is through the nose, out through your mouth.

    Is it possible to do both techniques independently

    Pilates does not include in his system is too complex exercises, the performance of which requires the personal presence of the instructor. If it is to learn, it is possible to study independently at home, gradually moving from entry-level to medium and then advanced.

    Experienced yogis recognized that classes in society instructor not only helps them to correctly perform the asanas. It is also an exchange of energy, which is extremely important for the development of this practice.


    The third direction is calm of fitness can be considered to be stretching — a set of stretching exercises. It can be used as a standalone training or be performed as a Supplement to basic training. Exercises included in the stretching program that will help you relax and make the body more flexible.

    The pros and cons of each training

    Pilates and yoga are so close that many when you practice one of these disciplines, decided to try himself in the second.

    Some of yoga coming to more careful study of the body in Pilates. Others, on the contrary through the muscles, you want to concentrate on gaining inner harmony.

    The benefits of yoga are that it helps to improve health and find inner peace. All yoga practitioners say about changes in the mindset, and some even find the meaning of life.

    The disadvantages of yoga are the following statements.

    • They have their contraindications:
    • mental disorders;
    • pregnancy;
    • inguinal hernia;
    • recent surgery;
    • chronic diseases of internal organs in the period of exacerbation;
    • viral infection;
    • heart disease;
    • a heart attack or stroke that occurred less than a year ago;
    • high intracranial pressure;
    • existing injuries of the spine and joints.
    • Many will be difficult to do at such a measured pace. The repetition of the same asanas every day may seem too monotonous.
    • The relatively high price of individual lessons. To introduce yoga into your life, you will have first to engage with the instructor.

    Among the advantages of Pilates include the following:

  • The opportunity to do at home without a coach.
  • Classes stabilize the work of many internal organs.
  • Improves posture, are back pain.
  • The body or inner harmony: what to choose

    To answer the question about the correct choice will help your emotional state after just a few classes. If, after you master the exercises or asanas, you feel a surge of energy and desire to be engaged further, it is likely that the direction chosen is correct.

    Someone a few months may realize a need to change the discipline. And that’s okay too. After all, to do to those that not only brings benefits, but also joy.

    The body and thoughts require attention. If to do yoga or Pilates, you have to force yourself, such trainings will not give the results that you expect to get. Perhaps you should just opt for more vigorous activity.

    If classes are fun, and if they pass the discomfort is felt, then you can safely say about the appearance in your life healthy habits that will bring both a physical health and spiritual harmony.

    Uses photographs Shutterstock

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