Yoga and Pilates in recent times have become a new fad for just about any generation. Yogis and Pilates goers consist of people of all ages looking to work their mind and body. Although very similar, there are important differences that may appeal to different people looking to get a slightly different experience.

Yoga aims to unite the mind, body, and spirit and if done properly, it is believed that the body can ultimately find harmony and heal itself. Through the different aspects of Yoga, a person can become more aware of their posture and patterns of movement- helping Yogis to relax. It has actually been proven through multiple studies that Yoga reduces stress levels. Yogis claim to be more fit, energetic, happier and peaceful through their Yoga endeavors. There is a variety of Yoga styles that emphasize different parts of the body and are chosen based on preference or need. For example, Vinyasa Yoga modifies Yoga poses to enhance healing, flexibility, and strength of joints and can include other practices such as meditation. Yoga is a very popular way to ease your mind from daily stressors while it also helps your body from a health standpoint.

Pilates has many of the same goals as Yoga and also works with a series of controlled movements. However, instead of only working with a mat, Pilates incorporates specific machines that focus on strengthening the abdominals, improve posture, stabilize and strengthen the spine and improve balance and overall strength. Pilates works the whole body but the rest of the body is able to move freely while the abs, lower back and buttocks are the focus of all movement. Strengthening and stabilizing of the core is critical for success in Pilates. Due to its low impact style, Pilates is also a good route for rehab and injury prevention. With a great balance between strength and flexibility, Pilates can result in a leaner, more balanced and stronger body.

Many people may still be torn between which movement therapy is best for them. However, don’t feel as if it necessary to choose one or the other. Both Yoga and Pilates complement each other in a way that it is beneficial to do a combination of both! Yoga can give you the stretch while Pilates can help you keep it. A combination of the breathing techniques of Pilates and meditative aspects of Yoga can help you live a less stressful, more relaxed life.

Writer: Emma Regenbaum

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