Woohoo! After putting off your fitness resolution for more than a month, you’ve finally decided to get started. Now you’re left with the big question – what to do that’s not too overwhelming? Here’s a suggestion, try Yoga or Pilates…but which one?
Both are low-impact workouts that mostly because bodyweight resistance. Both also need very little equipment – just a
Yoga: Mind and Muscle
Yoga is undeniably one of the oldest forms of exercise. Although its main purpose is to connect individual and universal consciousness, it has become one of the most popular choices for keeping fit both in mind and body. It’s known to help those with anxiety and depression and those who suffer from chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis, and chronic pain.
Today, there are many different styles of yoga. If you’re looking for a more modern approach to this ancient meditative exercise, consider taking these classes:
- Bikram Yoga. Held in artificially heated rooms, expect to sweat like crazy as you go through a series of 26 poses. Don’t forget to bring a towel.
Pilates: Strength and Flexibility
Pilates was initially developed for the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers but has been refined through the years for general fitness. The primary goal of Pilates is to increase muscle strength and endurance by performing small movements that use stabilizing muscles. Each exercise begins with a controlled breath, initiating the contraction of the core muscles.
Aside from your own body weight for resistance, springs, levers, and other equipment are used in the various forms of Pilates. The most common ones are:
- Classic Pilates. If you’re one of those who think that the original is always the best, sign up for Classic Pilates. It’s a mix of mat and apparatus work with transitions and exercises taught traditionally.
- Mat Pilates. Suffering from back pain due to your sedentary office life? Mat Pilates is here for you. All you need here is a yoga mat and your willpower to focus on using your core muscles.
- Reformer Pilates. The reformer is like the next-level yoga mat. It has a bed-like frame with a platform and set of springs that add resistance for a more intense workout. Take this class if you want to burn more calories and lose weight.
Which Is Better: Yoga or Pilates?
Well, it’s obviously a draw. Neither is better than the other. These two may be similar in many ways, but they target different needs and have their own limitations. Yoga helps improve balance, flexibility, and mental focus but may be difficult for those with severe physical limitations or those recovering from injury. In these cases, Pilates might be a better option.
But generally, these two complement each other. Pilates strengthens your core muscles, giving you better balance in yoga. On the other hand, yoga increases your flexibility, allowing you to take bigger and deeper movements in Pilates. Ultimately, it all boils down to your personal preferences and specific needs.
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