If you are looking to get in shape and are searching for a new fitness regimen, why not consider Pilates or Yoga? Both have similarities in that they focus on the fitness of the body and mind together. There are differences between Pilates and Yoga however, and these differences might make one exercise more ideal for you than the other. Here’s a comparison of the two.

What is Pilates?

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates who many in the Fitness World considered a genius because of his understanding of the body and how to create fitness routines that maximise its potential. Pilates classes focus on structured and precise movements that are designed to strengthen and tone the body while increasing flexibility. Pilates is currently used by medical professionals to assist those who are recovering from injury or have degenerative muscle, cartilage or joint issues.  As more and more people discover Pilates, it has moved into the mainstream of fitness and continues to grow in popularity.

Pilates Benefits

Pilates classes are designed to focus primarily on strength, toning the muscles, balance, stability of the body, and flexibility. It has a specific focus on increasing core strength as a strong core sets the foundation for the rest of the body. Because Pilates is a structured exercise, you must do it on a regular basis and the more you do it the better you’ll become. It also has a strong cardio component so it is good for weight loss.

What is Yoga?

More than three thousand years ago a system of physical, mental, and spiritual practices were developed in India. Yoga was developed to help people achieve their highest possible potential. Yoga aims to help us have long high quality lives and to stay productive for as long as possible.

Yoga Benefits

Yoga has many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. As a physical exercise it focuses primarily on flexibility and the larger muscle groups. As you develop your technique you’ll gain strength, although not necessarily muscle tone. Yoga also increases balance, and endurance, because most Yoga styles do have a cardio component.  A Yoga class, depending on the style of yoga, may be calm and sedate or vigorous and exhausting. There are a wide variety of yoga styles, with many options for those looking to be a Yoga student. Although each class may use a different set of movements, the goal of each class is physical, mental and spiritual improvement.
Which is Right for You?

Pilates and Yoga have similarities and focus on many of the same things. The goal of each fitness regimen is increased strength, flexibility, and endurance. The primary difference is that yoga has a very large spiritual component. This attracts many people to the practice, while also turning many people away.

Whichever exercise you decide is the right one, you will experience wonderful benefits to your overall health. Some students find that studying both Pilates and Yoga is the best way forward. A focus on Pilate’s core strengthening and muscle toning, along with Yoga’s structure and spiritual elements can be a good combination.