If you are interested in good health, you might be trying to decide if you should choose Pilates versus yoga to add variety to your workouts. Both have great reputations and followers who proclaim the health benefits associated with these activities. Learn about each and then decide for yourself if you want to add one or both to your health and wellness efforts.
The roots of yoga extend back thousands of years and are deeply entwined in eastern meditation. In recent decades, practitioners in the west have begun to teach these meaningful poses to interested people.
Today, most cities in the U.S. have multiple qualified yoga instructors teaching the most popular forms. From morning routines designed to invigorate participants for the day to evening meditative sessions, yoga courses can fulfill more than just your physical fitness needs. In fact, one of the reasons that so many people enjoy yoga is due to the mental and emotional grounding that takes place during a session. Even if you do not consider it a religious experience, the meditative aspects of yoga bring harmony to the body, mind and spirit.
Knowing your wellness goals is important when selecting a yoga class. Do you want a strong cardiovascular component or is relaxation more important? Do you have tight muscles that you want to loosen or are you interested in gaining balance or coordination? Speak to the instructor before signing up to be sure you are entering the best class for your needs.
On the other hand, you might prefer Pilates, a newer form of exercise that has as many class offerings as yoga in many places. Developed in Europe and spread to the US during the last century, Pilates is named for the creator, Joseph Pilates.
The most popular aspect of his work was the focus on the “core” muscles. While many think think Pilates is about getting a “6-pack abs” look, the core is more than that. All of the muscles around the center of your torso are essential for the movements you make, including your limbs. Those who practice the Pilates forms strengthen all of the abdominal muscles along with sculpting the rest of the body. If you perform these exercises regularly, your body will become leaner and your movements more fluid.
As with yoga, Pilates improves balance and coordination. The benefits of these exercise forms are comparable in many ways. When determining which is right for you, take a few trial classes of each. Most gyms and recreational centers will allow visitors an inexpensive one-time pass. If you have a friend taking the class, you might be able to get a better deal as a guest.
Depending on your current level of health, you might be quite sore or uncomfortable. Judge your experience on the instructor and your general feelings about the exercises. If you liked the workout but did not click with the teacher, try a different course elsewhere.
Deciding and examining Pilates versus yoga is common for people looking for ways to improve their health. Try them out and then decide for yourself which is most in line with your needs.