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What Are The Benefits Of Yoga And Pilates

Different Styles Of Yoga

Yoga is a broad subject matter, spanning across every aspect of human existence to promote individual and social health and well-being. The breadth of Yoga practices resulted in many combinations, as each generation of teachers discovered and developed in a myriad of directions hence the styles. Some draw on the selected philosophical and spiritual elements. Meanwhile, others are heavily influenced by anatomy and movement from western therapeutic approaches. For example, Joseph Pilates included research of eastern mind-body practices and developed Pilates. The Pilates method now influences Yoga, hence a cycle of research development is evident.

What Are The Benefits Of Yoga Vs Pilates

Yoga and Pilates have many similar benefits, though their philosophies and founding principles are very different. Both practices sculpt your whole body in a way that improves your body-mind awareness. In general, Pilates better benefits those whose priority is strength building and calorie burning, while yoga benefits those looking for an activity with more general and long-term benefits for overall health and well-being.

Which Is Better For You

Yoga and Pilates can be “well suited to all different types of bodies and all different types of abilities,” Pojednic says. You might think you need to be flexible and strong or have a dancer’s body, but you don’t, she says.

“If somebody gets a little bit more excited about strength training, they probably will like Pilates a little bit better,” Pojednic says. “If somebody enjoys fluid, full-body motion, I think that they would gravitate a little bit more toward yoga.”

 You can try yoga or Pilates in the following ways: 

  • Private instruction, which tailors workouts to your needs
  • Mat and reformer Pilates group classes
  • Group yoga classes like restorative, hatha, and vinyasa

Pilates And Yoga Equipment

Its important to mention that pilates and yoga equipment are quite different as well. 

First, there isn’t much yoga equipment necessary for the majority of yoga classes. Basically, all you need is a yoga mat. Certainly, some classes will ask that you have additional yoga accessories or props as well. Some of these, like yoga blocks, can be handy for beginners especially as they can aid you in poses that would be too difficult to do on your own as youre just starting out.

Other yoga accessories include bolsters of various sizes, yoga straps, blankets, and yoga wheels.

Pilates equipment, on the other hand, is more integral to the practice itself. Referred to as the apparatus” by Joseph Pilates himself, the main pilates machine used in the practice can look bizarre at first. Essentially, it is a machine that integrates various forms of resistance in order to carry out pilates exercises and target unique muscles. 

This machine is called the pilates reformer or the universal reformer, and it was invented by Joseph Pilates himself. Interestingly enough, pilates created his first Reformer out of machinery springs and a bed!

In a complete studio, you will likely find a pilates reformer as well as several other pieces of equipment:

  • Pilates chair

But You Will Feel So Strong

Top Health Benefits of Yoga, Pilates and Gyrotonics

As a yoga instructor, I used to roll my eyes at the Pilates people who said, Pilates totally transformed my body. How could lifting and lowering your leg two inches a million boring times possibly change your body? It wasnt until I started an almost-daily Pilates practice that I noticed the difference. And what a difference it made! I felt that my muscles were more secure on my frame. I found myself able to hold yoga poses for longer. I felt more energized and balanced. My breathing calmed. And my confidence soared. My back rarely ached, my muscles tone increased, my feet shrank and my neck became longer. I felt more energized and balanced. My breathing calmed. And my confidence soared. 

I felt more energized and balanced. My breathing calmed. And my confidence soared


Pilates Vs Yoga: The Key Differences And Benefits

Yoga and pilates are both beneficial, and their variety allows practitioners to find a style that works best for them.

Pilates and yoga offer multiple health benefits, with results including improved strength and flexibility. Both exercises involve mindful movements that support body weight and work various muscles.

People interested in yoga or pilates are typically looking for a relaxing low-impact workout that offers beneficial physical changes.

As the popularity of yoga and pilates continues to rise in the world of health and wellness, the confusion surrounding the difference between the two forms of exercise is also increasing.

Heres what you need to know about the practices and which one may be best for you. 


Yoga Promotes Emotional Health

Emotional health includes self-awareness, self-control, empathy, and healthy relationships. Emotional health requires regular attention, but as life gets busy, it can become difficult to take care of our emotional health.

Yoga is known for promoting a mind-body connection. As life gets busy, yoga can be a great way to cultivate emotional health and take care of yourself.

How Are Yoga And Pilates Different

Experts point to the fact that both yoga and Pilates involve a flow of movesbut the emphasis is different. Pilates focuses on core strength, while yoga is more focused on flexibility and has a stronger spiritual connection.

Yoga has a spiritual component and comes from a long lineage of teachers and sages in India, and Pilates was created by a man who wanted to help dancers breathe and move better to maintain a healthy spine, says Mel Russo, a certified yoga instructor in New York City. In my view, a main difference is that yoga has many and styles and Pilates has stayed pretty true to what its creator intended.

Pilates focuses on core strength, while yoga is more focused on flexibility and has a stronger spiritual connection.


Scientifically Proven Reasons Pilates Is An All

The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.~Joseph Pilates

1. Pilates improves your memory and makes you smarter.

Beginning in our late 20s most of us start losing about 1% of the volume of our hippocampus, a portion of the brain responsible for memory and cognitive function. Our brains are literally shrinking.

For a long time scientists thought that we were born with a certain number of brain cells but recently they discovered that our brains could create new cells thus slowing down or reversing brain shrinkage. What will it mean to you? It means better memory, lower risks of Alzheimers disease, better learning and problem solving, a higher IQ and more.

Several recent studies have proved that exercise improves neurogenesis creation of new brain cells as well as protects existing cells by prompting in increase in B.D.N.F. production a nerve protecting compound that some scientists call Miracle-Gro for the brain. The changes are mostly noticeable in the hippocampus, the region responsible for memories and learning.

Another group of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health that people have significantly superior brain function after a mindful movement practice like Pilates or Yoga compared to aerobic exercise.

2. Pilates trains your brain.

3. Deeper muscle activation means better function of the nervous system.

7. Pilates makes you happier.

Pilates Suitable For Everyone

Pilates caters for everyone, from beginner to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the help of various pieces of equipment.A typical Pilates workout includes a number of exercises and stretches. Each exercise is performed with attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control. To gain the maximum benefit, you should do Pilates at least two or three times per week. You may notice postural improvements after 10 to 20 sessions.

How Many Calories Does Pilates Burn

The amount of calories you will burn in Pilates depends on your current weight, if youre doing a mat or reformer class, and the level of difficulty of the class.

For someone whos about 150 pounds, one 50-minute Pilates mat class at a beginner level burns approximately 175 calories. An advanced 50-minute class burns approximately 254 calories.

Youll burn more calories in a Pilates reformer class or any Pilates workout where you elevate your heart rate.

Should I Do Yoga Or Pilates

Choosing between yoga and pilates will depend on your fitness goals. Are you a runner? Do you want to improve your heart health or lose weight? â

Yoga or Pilates for Runners?

Yoga for runnersâ: Yoga can be beneficial for runners because it stretches all your muscle groups that can be stressed due to over-use while running as well as help with flexibility.

Pilates for runners: Pilates can be beneficial to runners because it will strengthen your core muscles and help you develop better balance. Posture is incredibly important for running and pilates will aim to correct your posture and improve your whole body alignment. This will help overall muscle movements and reduce the risk of injury while running.

Yoga or Pilates for Heart Health?

Yoga for Health Health: This will depend on the style of yoga, most yoga styles provide you with little cardio benefit.

Pilates for Heart Healthâ: Beginner classes wont give you much of a cardio workout, probably the equivalent of going on a walk. Once you gain experience and reach a higher level the cardio activity will move up, reaching the equivalent of speed walking.

Yoga or Pilates for Weight Loss?

If your biggest goal is to lose weight then yoga or pilates should be practiced in addition to your workout routine. They should not be the only forms of exercise that you practice. They are both valid additions to any workout but which will help you lose weight and burn more calories? â

Related: Getting started with Hot Yogaâ

Pilates Creates Long Strong Muscles

Heres How Pilates Benefits Your Health

In Pilates, you are building toned muscles that work well both with your body as a whole and your functional fitness as you move through life. 

One way Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by using a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction. This type of muscle contraction occurs when the muscle elongates under tension. In Pilates, moves often call for you to resist gravity and move in a controlled waylike when doing a tricep pushup or during the controlled release of tension on a pilates ring.  

A 2015 study found that Pilates effectively strengthened the upper body, lower body, and abdominal muscles in a group of postmenopausal women. Another study from 2015 found that two Pilates sessions a week over three months showed improvements in lower body strength, postural balance, and quality of life in older individuals.

Pilates Integrates Body And Mind

Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates was about the “complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is a secret of Pilates exercise. When you practice each movement with your total attention, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise.

Pilates uses six key principlescentering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flowto integrate the body and mind.

Pilates And Yoga Defined

Yoga is a mind-body exercise from India since ancient times. Over time, yoga practitioners from all over have increased in number and learned the meditative art of combining body poses with deep breathing. With a simple mat on the floor, you can perform various types of yoga, from slow-paced yin to dynamic vinyasa.

Pilates, on the other hand, was not introduced until the 1920s by Joseph Pilates. Before it was known as a body-strengthening exercise, Pilates was once a way to help injured soldiers recover. Nowadays, you can do it to work your abdominal muscles with either a mat or Pilates reformer.

Feel Grounded With Yoga

Yoga is a total mind-body workout that requires flowing through a set series of exercises called poses while using the breath to focus the mind. The practice originated in India and each yoga pose has an English or Sanskrit name. 

There are many different styles of yoga, from dynamic Vinyasa yoga to gentle and restorative yin, making it a great option for everyone.  

If youre a beginner looking to get started with yoga, the good news is that you dont need any fancy equipment although you may want a non-slip mat if you decide to start an at-home yoga practice.

Sweat instructor Phyllicia Bonannos Yoga with Phyllicia classes on the Sweat app are a gentle, accessible way to learn the fundamentals, with a focus on slower flows that help you find stability in each pose or posture. If youre ready for a challenge, you can try Ania Tippkempers Yoga with Ania or Sjana Elises Body And Mind programs which both follow a powerful and dynamic Vinyasa style of yoga.

The Science Behind Yoga And Fitness

Need more evidence that yoga can help you get ripped? has showed that a regular yoga practice is just as effective as stretching and strengthening exercises in improving functional fitness in adults above the age of 60.

Another study had 80 participants do Sun Salutations 6 days a week for 24 weeks. At the end of the experiment, these newly minted yogis rep max bench press and shoulder press showed a significant increase.

Meanwhile, an additional study placed over 170 adults on a weekly Hatha yoga program for 12 weeks. By the end of the program, theyd gotten significantly better at strength exercises like curl-ups and push-ups.

There are a ton! We asked yoga experts to share their favorite poses for muscle growth and strengthening. Consider this your cheat sheet for mastering muscle-making yoga moves.

Yoga Is Better For Cardiovascular Health

Faster-paced versions of yoga, like vinyasa, elevate your heart rate more than slower, restorative types of yoga or Pilates. “Pilates doesn’t tend to have that very vigorous type of format,” Pojednic says.

A small 2017 found that practicing yoga every day for a month reduced participants’ blood pressure, a key indicator of heart health. 

Both Can Help You Lose Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, how many calories you burn while exercising matters. The calories you burn during yoga and Pilates will depend on the type you practice. 

For example, the American Council on Exercise found 50 minutes of: 

  • Hatha burned 144 calories
  • Power yoga burned 237 calories
  • Beginner Pilates burned 175 calories
  • Advanced Pilates burned 254 calories

Other have found yoga can burn even more: 540 calories per hour for vinyasa yoga, a vigorous style.   

A 2013 found that yoga programs often help people lose weight. A small 2020 of young women with elevated blood pressure found mat Pilates also reduced body fat. 

To lose weight safely and effectively, you should work with a doctor or nutritionist to create an individualized plan for diet and exercise. 

The Differences Between Pilates And Yoga

To a beginner, it can be easy to initially confuse certain aspects of Pilates like mat exercises with . Some of the aspects of Pilates the movements, the mindfulness may remind you of yoga but there are several core differences. 

But Bar notes the differences can be both physical and philosophical. Although Pilates uses breath, yoga is a mind-body-spirit type thing, she says. The meditation helps calm you, its like an automatic stress relief. Theres stress relief that comes from other workouts, too, but with yoga, theres a focus on what am I thinking, how am I feeling as Im doing this. 

Both forms of exercise involve balancing of muscle groups and core work, but with Pilates, according to Bar, the focus is on much heavier on the exercises that get us that core work. In yoga, though, the work starts with safe alignment and safe posture. She adds that theres more of a variety of movement in yoga, as well and there is an emphasis on core strength.

They complement each other and there are some things that might be similar, she adds, but theyre not the same, especially since theres always meditation and relaxation aspects with yoga. There are a lot of logistic differences.

Different exercises, different equipment

Conversely, there are relatively few pieces of equipment that are necessary for yoga beyond the typical mat and yoga blocks. Other pieces of equipment, like yoga straps, are also occasionally used but the total amount is far less than with Pilates. 

Body And Muscle Strength

Busting Pilates Myths: The Lowdown On Pilates Workouts

Yoga stretches the body, which, in turn, strengthens and tones muscles. However, fast-paced and precise Pilates exercises give better results, especially in your chest and core strength. It is also easier to achieve stronger muscles with a Pilates reformer and its adjustable resistance levels. With yoga, your resistance limit relies on your body weight.

Health Benefits Of Yoga

The practice of yoga asanas develops strength and flexibility, while soothing your nerves and calming your mind. The asanas affect the muscles, joints and skin, and the whole body glands, nerves, internal organs, bones, respiration and the brain. The physical building blocks of yoga are the posture and the breath.Health benefits of yoga include:

What Are The Health Benefits Of Pilates

There are many reports on the health benefits of pilates. However, few of these have been subjected to rigorous scientific examination, and there’s a need for more research in this area.

Practitioners say regular pilates can improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension.

Targets Imbalances Bringing Your Body More Into Alignment

Pilates synchronises and coordinates the different muscle groups to create uniformity and harmony in the body. It supports your yoga practice by focusing on the smaller muscle groups that run throughout the body. 

The focus on alignment and core stabilisation brings out our misalignments, weaknesses and imbalances. We all have a better side that we can twist further or go deeper into the pose, or a leg that goes higher or rotates more. The Pilates exercises helps us become more aware of what we need to work on, bringing us more into alignment, where our muscular system is happiest.

The Origins Of Pilates

Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates who was an anatomist and a mechanical genius, Bertali says. It is a physical system that uses very specific targeted exercises to improve strength, flexibility and posture with particular focus on the core. It is a disciplined practice that needs to be done on a regular basis to provide benefit.

There tends to be fewer wild variations of Pilates teachings, with traditionalists favouring mat classes and those seeking more fitness-focused workouts opting for classes on resistance-based reformer machines. Classical Pilates, which marries mat work with a whole host of Pilates apparatus, is considered to be the practice in its truest form.

Pilates Or Yoga: Which One Is Better

Pilates and yoga are well suited to different body types and abilities, and both offer multiple benefits.

For a person who enjoys strength training, such as workouts are done at the gym, the resistance training offered in a Pilates class may suit them.

If someone enjoys a more spiritual practice with flowing, full-body motion, yoga may be the better choice of the two.

But when it comes to yoga vs. pilates, are there apparent differences between what the two workouts can offer in specific areas?

Lets explore.

Pilates Vs Yoga: What’s The Difference

Joseph Pilates invented the method in the 1920s. It is designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body through specific exercises and focused breathing. Types of Pilates include mat and reformer which uses a special exercise machine with a sliding platform and cables.

” a high emphasis on neuro-motor control and training your brain and your nervous system to be able to finely tune and control your movements for the desired effect,” says Catherine Lewan, a licensed physical therapist who uses both yoga and Pilates in her physical therapy sessions. 

4 benefits of Hatha yoga and how it can improve your physical and mental health

originated thousands of years ago in India and is a mind-body exercise. Many different of yoga exist, from yoga to hot yoga, but all involve moving through different physical postures. Yoga incorporates different breathing techniques, such as moving with one breath per movement. Some types of yoga include .

“Pilates is very repetitive and focused on strengthening small stabilizer muscles. So you may feel more strain in your muscles when you do Pilates,” says Rachele Pojednic, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at Simmons University. “It feels a little bit more like a strength type of workout, where yoga tends to be a little bit more fluid. Often, there’s music, and you’re moving with your breath.”

Difference Between Pilates And Yoga

Overall, the biggest difference between Pilates and yoga is the ultimate goal. Yoga provides a meditative environment for you to improve your overall quality of life. It focuses on stress relief while improving your body.

Pilates works from the center of your body outward. It forces you to increases your body awareness and work from your core, resulting in a stronger body. Yoga and Pilates each have their merits. The best part is that you really dont have to choose. Combine Pilates with yoga for an amazing way to transform your daily routine.

How Are Pilates And Yoga The Same And Different

Top 10 Health Benefits of Pilates

Pilates and yoga are quite similar in many ways. For one thing, both practices focus on connecting the mind with the body. Pilates is often seen as the more athletic of the two practices; however, it still emphasizes the breath and maintaining deep focus. One couldnt say the same about other athletic endeavours such as basketball or traditional weight training. 

Moreover, both pilates and yoga are essentially mat practices, meaning simply that theyre practiced on a mat most of the time . Likewise, you can practice both yoga or pilates basically from a studio or the park, to the beach or your own living room.


Other similarities between pilates and yoga include common focuses on:

  • Centring
  • Core strength
  • Balance

Still, youll notice that there are some distinct differences between pilates and yoga as well. First and foremost, youll notice that pilates does not have different sub-forms. There are only different difficulty levels. Yoga, on the other hand, comes in many forms. 

Additionally, the ultimate goal of pilates and yoga is different. Yoga is certainly more meditative and focuses more on whats going on in your mind. While pilates emphasizes the mind-body connection as well, its more focused on physicality, muscle flexibility and strength, and nailing each pose and movement as precisely as possible.


Yoga Supports Heart Health

One of the benefits of yoga is its support for heart health. Practicing yoga reduces stress, suppresses inflammation, and promotes better circulation of oxygen and blood throughout the body. Many consider cardio exercise as the best way to promote heart health but giving your heart rest and breathing deeply promotes calm and benefits heart health as well.

Yoga also boosts heart health by regulating blood cholesterol and glucose levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. Recent research shows those who practiced yoga for three months reduced their risk for heart disease.

Helps You To Recover From Injury

Pilates targets deep core stabilisers that are de-conditioned. The smaller movements access deep, internal muscles of the pelvis and spine that are highly supportive but are passed over by larger movements. 

Pilates exercises can be very beneficial for people who suffer from back pain or want to prevent it. Follow our Pilates for Back Pain program from Ruth Larkin to experience it for yourself. Available as part of your EkhartYoga membership.

5 classes All levels

It Relaxes And Strengthens You

Its commonly known that this exercise is one of the most relaxing ones there is. It tones your body and improves your breathing. Pilates is usually highly recommended for people with stress and disorders. In addition, its great for anyone who wants to see their quality of life improve and try something new thats based on traditional disciplines. 

Pilates Is For Everyone

Whether you are an older adult just starting to exercise, an elite athlete, or somewhere in between, the foundations of Pilates movement apply to you and your body. The focus on building core strength, proper alignment, and the body-mind connection make Pilates accessible to all.

With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, Pilates workouts can be tailored to individual needs. There are ways you can adapt the exercises, and there are even specific considerations for Pilates for men and during pregnancy. If you have any current or past injuries or other particular concerns, you can work with a trained Pilates instructor to learn .


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