AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Keeping fit tends to mean different things to different people; for example, strength and muscle building are my focus, while my wife takes an approach that concentrates on slimming and stamina. Depending on your body type, diet, and intentions, you’ll want to build an exercise plan that suits you, and that can make choosing between different techniques difficult.

yoga Yoga or Pilates: Which to Choose?


No matter how varied our fitness goals, there are two types of softer exercise regimens that suit every body type and lead to many universally craved results: yoga and Pilates. The problem with these two favorite forms of exercise are that they are often confused and blended together in the mind, hiding the very unique values that each offer; while they may be very similar, they are also quite different in their resulting benefits.

If you’re looking into a softer method of exercise and can’t decide which of yoga and Pilates will suit you best, follow along as we take a look at the small, but meaningful, benefits of each.

What Sets Yoga Apart

Prompting movement that encourages extreme stretching through a variety of poses that aim to tone and flex the entire body, yoga is the most popular form of “soft” exercise, with millions of people around the world practicing each and every day.

Yoga’s goals are many, but its focus on feeling sets it quite apart from Pilates and all other forms of exercise, allowing this moment to be no less important than the moment that you achieve a given fitness goal.

If the spiritual and meditative aspects of yoga appeal to you, then incorporating it into your exercise regimen is a must; there is simply nothing like it. That’s not to say, of course, that you may not find some spiritual or meditative qualities in other forms of exercise – many weight lifters cite a feeling of zen when they are in the zone, for example – but yoga’s unique focus on these aspects of activity make it the leader in physical exercise for mental fitness.

What Sets Pilates Apart

Pilates, while similar to yoga in its soft and slow approach, is first and foremost an exercise in physical conditioning and strength training. Many of the poses included in Pilates are very similar to those found in some styles of yoga, but each starts from a place of inner-strength by encouraging the use of core muscles in the abdomen, sides, and back to complete every movement.

Like yoga, Pilates is a great way to increase familiarity with your own body, promoting better posture and increased strength all the while. Unlike yoga, these aspects of Pilates rank as its primary goals, with mental stimulation and relaxation taking a backseat to increasing muscle mass through self-resistance during practice.

The practice of Pilates can be summed up as gentle strength training – the best bet for anyone for whom being stronger and more powerful through soft exercise is the goal.

Still Not Sure? Mix and Match!

There’s a decent chance that you’ve made it through these overviews of the points of both yoga and Pilates only to think to yourself, “hey, I want strength training and the mental benefits!” If that’s the case, remember that you can always mix and match the two in order to achieve maximum benefits in both areas.

One of the best things that life has to offer us is variety, and this ranks just as true with exercise as it does everywhere else. The most recommended way to combine these two slow exercise regimens is by completing a Pilates session aimed at strengthening, and then following it up with a gentle, but thorough, yoga practice, ensuring that you get all of the physical benefits while still ending things on a mentally relaxed note.

Categories: Natural health

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