Pilates or Yoga – Which One Should You Go For?
What’s Inside –
- What is pilates
- What is yoga
- Which of the two has an edge? (Hint – it’s yoga!)
- Want to learn yoga from the best? Hith Yoga has you covered
Perhaps more intimidating than the process of exercising itself today is the prospect of choosing what form of exercise you should take up. After all, each exercise brings its own set of goals, challenges, limitations, potentials, and end results, and you will want to pick the one that suits you best, for there would be nothing more demotivating and fatiguing than an exercise session that doesn’t give you what you want.
Two very popular forms of exercises today are pilates and yoga – indeed, if you search for pilates or yoga classes near me, you are likely to find dozens of studios around you, all touting the benefits and fun of their own exercise forms. So, if you are torn between these two choices, which one should you go for? Here is all you need to know to help you decide for yourself-
Breaking Down Pilates –
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates is a low-impact exercise system that is aimed at improving flexibility, strength, control and endurance of the entire body. Of particular concern here is the core of the body, as this system believes that a stronger core is the key to a person’s stability and health. Unlike many other forms of western exercises, Pilates does have a mental component to it – it emphasizes on concentration and mindfulness during exercise, and aims to use breathing and bodily exercise as a way of tapping into mental presence and mind relaxation.
Initially marketed at those who were in need of physical rehabilitation (such as due to back ache), or the more upper-class individuals who sought a more refined and controlled way of exercising, pilates is today practiced across the world and by all sections of the society enthusiastically, and its methods and techniques have often been incorporated into other forms of exercises.
The benefits of pilates are manifold, and include improved core strength, flexibility, coordination and balance, and increased bodily awareness and concentration. For those who do not want to (or are unwilling to) burn it at the gym using high-impact exercise, pilates can offer a great alternative and help people improve their wellbeing. However, do not be fooled by the apparent slow nature of the exercises – pilates packs quite a burn, and it can leave you very sore the next day.
However, one of the main drawbacks of pilates is that the limited research done on the area has found it only mildly beneficial for lower back pain. Given that the main benefit of pilates is supposed to be rehabilitation, this throws the discipline into somewhat of a shadow.
Pilates may also not be preferred by those who prefer something more high energy, and since it sends to skip out cardio and focus more on stretching and strength, the workout may not be good for weight loss. There is also the social factor of pilates being considered an ‘elite’ form of exercise, as it has been popularized by western, white suburbia, as a result of which pilates classes can be quite expensive to undertake.
All of this does not mean that pilates is a bad form of exercise and should not be undertaken at all. Rather it simply means that like other forms of exercises, pilates may be best aligned with the goals of some particular set of people. But where does it leave the others? Perhaps yoga can provide the answer.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that combines asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (breathing practices), and meditation to improve the overall mental, physical and spiritual well being of a person. Today, yoga is mostly understood to be the dynamic exercise form practiced all over the world, but yoga had, and continues to have, important spiritual and mental components. Meditation in particular is aimed at mind relaxation, and was initially aimed at facilitating the philosophical and spiritual ponderings of the sages who practiced the discipline.
The Benefits of Yoga – Why Yoga Has An Edge Over Pilates
In terms of the absolute, overall goals and general wellbeing, the benefits of yoga can outweigh those provided by pilates. Here is how –
- Firstly, yoga has a lot more research to back up its benefits. Whether it be mind relaxation, increased flexibility, or even therapeutic rehabilitation, the benefits of yoga have been well documented and well-established by science.
- Secondly, the techniques and practices of yoga training, especially meditation but also yoga poses and pranayama practices, have been found to be especially beneficial for mind relaxation, stress management, anxiety reduction, improved mood, and a generally balanced, calm mind. Hence, yoga works not only at the physical level, but also the mental level.
- While pilates is touted as a go-to for lower back pain and other physical symptoms, yoga training has been found to be helpful for a number of chronic problems, including variances in blood pressure and blood sugar, PCOD, hypothyroidism, asthma, and cardiovascular issues. The benefits of yoga have also been well documented in pain alleviation.
- Weight loss, which is one of the most major fitness goals for anybody who takes up some form of exercise, is something that yoga can help tremendously with. Not only do yoga poses tone and strengthen the body and burn fat, yoga also reduces stress, balances the hormonal system, and keeps conditions such as PCOS in control, all of which are known to contribute to weight loss.
- Lastly, yoga helps in exploring spirituality and mindfulness. Sometimes, our creative and mental blocks come not from the want of material things, but due to our restlessness and lack of purpose with respect to our meaning in life. Yoga can help you explore these avenues, and thus improve your spiritual wellbeing.
Hence, it is clear that if your fitness goals are more expansive, the benefits of yoga may outweigh the benefits of pilates for you.
Want to Tap Into These Benefits of Yoga?
If you are intrigued by the benefits of yoga and are now looking for yoga classes near me to help you get started, we would like to direct you towards Hith Yoga Studio. One of the most reputed and established yoga studios in the Delhi-NCR region, Hith Yoga provides you with highly qualified and experienced teachers, safe, comfortable, and high-quality facilities, and a holistic and varied approach to yoga. Added to these are personal training classes and regular yoga retreats. Thus, with Hith Yoga Studio, your yoga experience would be the best possible one. So join us today, and change the way you experience yoga.