Yoga or Pilates, which form of exercise should you include in your fitness routine?

Yoga focuses more on mindfulness while Pilates focuses on muscle building and developing core strength.

Yoga was originally practiced by holy ascetics in India and its origin dates back to the Vedic period. This traditional practice helps with the flexibility of the body and the concentration of the mind. Pilates was introduced by a German inventor, John Pilates in the 1920s, during World War I. It was introduced to help injured soldiers regain their health by strengthening their muscles. It involves the use of different equipment as well as mat exercises. Pilates is also a low impact exercise and works on the body and mind, but the goal is to make the body stronger and improve posture. The current generation chooses to incorporate both yoga and Pilates into their fitness routine.

Yoga and Pilates have many health benefits, from stress relief to building flexibility, strength, control and endurance.

Yoga and its benefits

Yoga encourages the body to practice a full belly breathing method – inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Yoga helps with balance, strength, endurance, meditation, controlled breathing, and sometimes even difficult physical movement. It is also known to have a positive effect on arthritis, respiratory conditions, high blood pressure, chronic pain and type 2 diabetes. It focuses on:

Pilates and its benefits

Pilates focuses on small movements that stabilize the back and core muscles. Pilates can be practiced on mats and on machines. The machine equipment only uses springs, levers and your body weight for resistance. Pilates also has its own set of benefits. It increases muscle strength and endurance, improves flexibility and posture, and helps relieve joint pain.

Pilates is beneficial for people with arthritis, urinary incontinence, respiratory problems, joint injuries and back pain.

Yoga or Pilates?

Both forms of exercise promote strength building, balance, flexibility, and calorie burning. Yoga focuses more on mindfulness while Pilates focuses on muscle building and developing core strength.

If your goal is to improve your core performance and strength, and eliminate joint and muscle issues, then Pilates should be a good option for you. But if you are in distress and want to relax and take care of your physical and mental health, yoga is for you.

You can also add both to your fitness routine, but only after consulting with a fitness instructor to determine what your body needs most.

Pilates is expensive and would require access to equipment for some of the exercises. Although Pilates can be modified like yoga to meet your fitness criteria, it also requires proper instruction and correct postures to avoid injury.

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