Any exercise junkie knows that all cardio or weights and no stretching make for a very sore, tight body over the years; which may go some way towards explaining the ever-increasing popularity of Yoga and Pilates.
It is often stated that Yoga with its countless offshoots and different styles such as Hatha, Iyengar, Hot Yoga, Bikram, Yin, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow is the most widely practiced form of exercise in the world. Yoga which is thousands of years old originated in India and has countless physical and mental benefits.
Pilates, however, is a close second and building rapidly in popularity. Developed in Germany in the early part of the 20th century, focuses on control and alignment and of course, abdominal based exercises and count more than 25 million people worldwide as devotees.
So which is best to incorporate into your routine? Well a Yoga instructor will say simply Yoga is best and a Pilates instructor will simply say Pilates is best. So how do you choose? We don’t; this is why we have both in our studios, as I (Chantele the owner of Pilates Fit Perth) actively practices in both.
Yoga versus Pilates
The trick is to try a little of each and see what works for you. However, if you have specific goals for your training, one discipline may have an edge over the other. If recovery from injury or wanting to strengthen and tone and improve functional mobility is a priority.
Pilates is probably going to give you optimum benefits. And of course, there are different formats of Pilates starting to hit the studios in the last 5 years as well. Where movement is starting to evolve into Pilates. I call this New Age Pilates its where we incorporate the principles of Pilates like Centering, control, alignment, and precision. For example and base any functional movement around it – should Pilates be evolving into the new Name of “Functional Pilates” rather than the traditional repertoire of exercises that Joseph the founder created? Although I love a good session of the traditional exercises.
If, however, your aim is to practice mindfulness on a deeper level, plus destress than Yoga is probably more likely to be your activity of choice. “Yoga enables you to achieve and maintain the balance between your body, mind, and spirit”.It combines a series of movements you need for optimum health and wellbeing: Incorporating breathing and meditation techniques to create a total piece of mind. So you feel really dreamy and have a sense of calm and focus after each session.
Both practices ultimately; will create similar benefits (Toning, Strength, Improvements in flexibility and mobility, improvements to your wellbeing). if done regularly and intensively. Though neither? Modified versions of both Pilates and Yoga now offer cardiovascular benefits Barre, Boxilates, Trampoline, Bikram or Hot Yoga and nothing to get your heart rate than in a fast-paced Vinyasa Flow.
Thing to remember
The thing to remember is that; all movement is good movement. And the best exercise is always the one that you prefer – as this leads to consistency, improved results, and long-term results. The best strategy?
Try for yourself and see what sticks. Also if you leave feeling better then when you walked in that is always a great sign as you are more inclined to do exercise that makes you feel great!
Written By Chantele Blaize @pilatesyogaeveryday