Pilates and yoga share many similarities, which is why people often confuse the two of them together. But whilst both focus on improving your core strength, balance and flexibility, they also have distinct benefits they provide.
Core Balance takes a look at both practises and how incorporating them into your daily workout could improve both your mental and physical health.
The Benefits Of Yoga
Yoga was first practised in ancient India around 5,000 years ago and is as much a spiritual discipline as a mental and physical one. There are many different forms of yoga you can practise, including Karma, Bikram and Hatha.
All focus on achieving peacefulness of body and mind.
Each yoga pose, or asana as it’s known in yoga, requires you to do a series of movements whilst reclining, sitting, standing, twisting or balancing. These asanas are designed to develop your core and improve your flexibility.
Controlled breathing is also encouraged as you practise each asana. This helps to control your body and focus your mind. By combining exercising with mindfulness, yoga helps you to keep fit, reduce anxiety and improve your brain function.
Experienced yogis who have practised yoga for many years may also notice a reduction in their blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as lower stress, better balance, stronger bones and a reduction in muscle pain.
The Benefits Of Pilates
Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates who was inspired heavily by yoga. However, it puts less emphasis on mindfulness and more emphasis on improving your posture and building strength.
Whereas regular strength training targets specific muscle groups, Pilates is designed to strengthen your entire core. By strengthening entire muscle systems and the connective tissue between your muscles, it helps to reduce tension and improve your posture and flexibility.
Pilates exercises also have a less extensive range of movement than yoga exercises and so are less likely to lead to complications if you’re recovering from an injury.
In fact, Pilates is often recommended by physiotherapists as a way to aid recovery and strengthen your core, particularly if you’re suffering from a recurring problem such as lower back pain.
Should You Do Pilates & Yoga?
The short answer is yes.
Trust us, some yoga poses won’t help your lower back if you’re not performing them correctly. And, in order to do so, you need to have a strong core and perfectly aligned posture.
Pilates helps you to achieve this.
By strengthening your core and improving your posture, it enables you to perform asanas like a pro. It also reduces the risk of complications arising if you’re practising poses that require a greater deal of stretching and push your muscles to the max.
If you’re thinking of taking up yoga or Pilates, you’ll need an exercise mat. For help choosing the right mat for your workout, check out our Exercise Mat Buying Guide or you can view our range of Pilates & yoga equipment online now.