I know Yoga has always been popular but let me tell you that Pilates is fast becoming a trend that even celebrities are so into it. Both gentle exercise forms offer great benefits but if you are confused as to which of them is best for you, it depends on what you want to achieve.
Allow me to shed some light on their distinction because while they both help you build strength and give you flexibility, they differ physically and philosophically.
- It is the movement of energy through the body. You feel more of life the more energy you let freely flow within.
- It is a controlled strengthening and stretching of the body that makes the body become strong yet supple.
- Worry, nervousness, stress and other physical tension may obstruct that flow of energy and may negatively affect some body parts.
As an old Eastern form of meditation, the physical postures along with proper breathing are the calming effects of yoga. As you learn to control breathing and hold challenging poses at the same time, yoga enables you to become aware of your overall physical being and attain inner and outer balance.
- It is predominantly about physical conditioning that is unique in its ways.
- The movements originated from what is often overlooked when exercising – the core muscles around the spine and those deep within the abdomen. Beginners of this exercise form are trained to isolate these muscles so that they are effectively taken on.
- It is highly effective in improving body awareness and posture while promoting polished, fluid movements.
- It allows muscle development without the pronounced bulk.
Joseph Pilates is the father of this form of exercise. He developed it as a means to help injured WWII soldiers recover. Because of its nature, explicit Pilates exercise tools such as mats are required. Compared to yoga, Pilates is more like weight training because it strengthens and develops lean muscles minus the bulkiness.
I can tell you that both exercises come with many benefits but then again, it depends on your goal to know which is best for you. If you want to tone your muscles to improve the way you look and carry yourself, then Pilates it is. If what you seek is rejuvenation of both mind and body, my recommendation for you is yoga.
There is no right or wrong choice because how the exercises affect you may also be affected by the kind of conditioning your body needs. The best thing to do is to try variation so that you get to experience and feel what it is that will work for you best.