Fit Thursdays: Pilates VS Yoga - Is One Better Than The Other?
Are you confused between the difference between Pilates and yoga?
Which is better for you a jog or a Pilates session?
Pilates and yoga are often categorised as the same form of exercise however they concentrate on different elements.
What is Pilates?
Pilates was first introduced to injured athletes and dancers in America as a way of safely returning to training. It takes the individual through dynamic exercises utilising gravity and body weight for beginner and various equipment for the more advanced. Exercises are predominately carried out on a mat/floor based progressing into a standing position.
What is yoga?
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago, it was designed as a method of spiritual enlightenment. Today, yoga incorporates a gentle form of exercise and stress management. Poses or asanas are held in a static position for a period of time emphasising controlled breathing patterns. Asanas are held in a lying, sitting, standing or upside down positions. No equipment is used in yoga exercises.
Benefits of Pilates and Yoga
Pilates and yoga have many similar benefits but they also hold individual characteristics, both exercises are carried out under the supervision of an instructor. The instructor ensures the exercise are conducted with correct technique, this is beneficial to the individual as it ensures the correct muscles are activated and reduces the risk of injury. They also provide support, confidence and progression.
Pilates provides many benefits for the body which includes:
· Improves posture
· Stabilised lower back and decreases pain
· Improves flexibility
· Suitable for almost everyone
· Controls breathing
· Improves joint stabilisation and the range of motion
· Activates pelvic floor muscles (very important for all the females)
Yoga also provides many health benefits to the body which include but are not limited to the following:
· Improves flexibility
· Improve circulation
· Contribute to lowering blood pressure
· Improves mobility
· Improves posture
· Gain control over breathing patterns
Stress relief and yoga
Yoga may have a positive effect on mental health and stress relief. Research has shown yoga to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In 2010, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests yoga may actually help to regulate various parts of the nervous system thus providing pain relief and decreased levels of depression.
Pilates VS Yoga
The golden question that exists is which is better Pilates or yoga? Yoga is designed to work every part of the body equally. It concentrates on improving flexibility and balance whilst Pilates tends to focus on improving core and spine strength and joint stabilisation. It also focuses on correct technique which is beneficial for the athlete who wants to progress onto more complicated moves e.g. bench press. As both exercises are low impact they are suitable for almost everyone including those with injuries and bone/muscle conditions. They also improve posture which is beneficial for everyone.
Pilates and yoga both hold different characteristics one does not outweigh the other. The one which is most suitable to you will depend on your fitness goals.
Pilates and yoga for weight loss
As Pilates concentrates on improving the stabilisation of the small muscles used to keep your joints in place and your deep core muscles. As these muscles are so small (but highly important) they fatigue rapidly and the amount of energy they require is minimal in comparison to larger muscle groups. An average 50 minute Pilate’s class can burn about 175 calories. Yoga on the other hand recruits larger muscle groups however the amount of energy required for a 50 minute class is 145 calories.
If fat loss is your overall goal unfortunately Pilates or yoga alone will not allow you to see rapid results. It is recommend to engage in high intensity workouts to achieve optimal results e.g. a 50 minute fast paced jog can utilise up to 550 calories.
Pilates and yoga are often heavily criticised, often for the lifestyle that is associated with these exercises. On a personal note, the benefits that Pilates and yoga provide will always outweigh sitting on a couch and not participating in any form of exercise. A balance of cardio, weight training and Pilates/yoga are recommended to reach your fitness goals faster.
Hi all, my name is Elaine Delaney co-founder of Euphoria Fitness Sydney.
I hold qualifications in health promotion, physiology and fitness. Since a young age, sports and fitness have been my passion and now I want to utilise this knowledge and experience to help other achieve their health and fitness goals.
My philosophy is life is small changes in your lifestyle can have a massive impact on your health. The key to achieving optimal health is good nutrition and exercise. In modern day society your fitness regime requires flexibility and commitment.
Euphoria Fitness provides specialised one to one or group personal training, for more information on the service provided simply use the contact details below.
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