Pilates are an exercise that has gained significant traction in recent years in light of the recent pandemic. This is largely due to the exercise being extremely accessible as well as enjoyable to practise.

The exercise was actually invented by a soldier while he was in a First World War detainment camp. The focus was to relax the muscles and then strengthen them as well as improve the core area. In Pilates, the core body (powerhouse) is the centre of strength to empower all movement within the practice. While Pilates was influenced in part by Yoga, it has its own very defined style and is an exercise in its own right.

Pilates developed his idea and launched it in New York once the war was over. It took off straight away with the dance community and then spread countrywide with the help of the first Pilates students. Pilates is a kind of resistance training method that unifies the body and mind.

On the other hand, we have Yoga which dates back much longer than pilates. Yoga was created around 5,000 years ago in India and heavily focuses on uniting the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is not just an exercise, yoga is a lifestyle and although yoga postures or asanas are focused on training the body. This is only 1 of the limbs of the philosophy.

Nowadays you can find yoga being practised in almost every household across the world, in any local gym or even online through digital streaming platforms and different social media. Yoga is also widely practised by millions of people across the world from your favourite online influencers to mindfulness and wellness coaches. It really is for everyone!

Pilates vs Yoga, people often ask which is better for the body, for me there is not really an answer to this question. It would be like asking me if I would prefer to eat strawberry cheesecake or mandarin cheesecake. I like cheesecake so, to be honest, I would probably want to eat both, the same is true for pilates and yoga... it's down to personal preference.

Today, however, I am going to serve you a slice of both Pilates and yoga so that you can decide which you prefer for yourself.

Pilates is an exercise which unified the mind and body on the path to wellness
Pilates is a kind of resistance training method that unifies the body and mind. Photo Source: Unsplash

If we are going to arrive at a conclusion as to what you are better suited to, we should first look at the benefits of both right?

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The Benefits of learning Pilates

Learning to practise pilates teaches you a lot about discipline. Attaining an advanced level of pilates takes time and requires a substantial about of dedication. There will often be times when you get frustrated from not being able to see results and have to continue putting the work in and trust the process.

These are valuable learnings that are certainly applicable in other walks of life. There will be times at school when you are not getting the results that you had hoped for. The important thing is that you are not discouraged by this and continue to work hard and progress.

In Pilates, your breath is the rhythm of your practice, making it relatively easy for anyone to follow. Filling the body with oxygen while preparing to make each movement fills each subsequent pose with energy. It strengthens your limbs and gives you the opportunity to extend your range of motion to your highest potential.

The acquired skillset from practising pilates can be applied when learning to play other sports or trying out new exercises, meaning that you’ll likely pick up whatever it is you try your hand a lot faster. Some of the more attractive benefits of practising Pilates are that you will be able to improve your core strength which will encourage great posture, better spinal alignment, strength within your joints and balanced wellness overall.

Pilates also help with your concentration and demands all of your attention, so you can expect to feel quite psychologically drained, as well as physically, after a session. Pilates should not be practised mindlessly while distracted by other things, the exercise demands your full focus if it is to work for you. If you don't, then this is not Pilates at all so remember to leave your worries at the door!

Trying your hand at pilates has also been found to improve your retention and overall cognitive function which will help you to perform better in exams. You can see why it is such a popular choice with secondary level and college students as well as amongst older learners.

Pilates also has many forms and styles which have developed since its creation. It has 2 main forms Mat Pilates and Equipment-based Pilates. It also has 2 main styles Classical Pilates and contemporary Pilates. Within both methods, there are many forms of Pilates such as Stott Pilates, Polestar Pilates, Clinical Pilates, Reformer Pilates etc.

Pilates or Yoga which one is better?
Pilates and Yoga share a very similar base. Photo Source: Unsplash

The Benefits of Practising Yoga

Improving flexibility is also a natural process of yoga; the exercise encourages your muscles and your joints to release any stress and stretch to their maximum potential, a long-term benefit so long as you keep up the training.

You will also develop enhanced control. If you can manage to control the movements of your muscles and your body as a whole it will lead to better quality, and more beneficial, workouts. This controlled approach requires you to use your inner energy and ensure that any energy that you exert is delivering the maximum benefits.

Having a strong core is desirable for many and is a crucial part of yoga training as the core of your body is the power station that supports the rest of your body. The benefits of a strong core are a smaller waistline, flat abs and a toned torso.

Precision is another primary benefit of practising yoga as we know, it is all about control and flow too. Each posture must be precise to gain the maximum benefit so getting your muscles to work in the right place is vital as well as being totally aware of where your limbs are in relation to one another. Precision helps with muscle memory and helps to prevent injury.

Everyone suffers from stress these days, and it is important to practice anything that can help you overcome that. Yoga helps to reduce stress naturally, as with most exercises, with a gentle, mindful, approach that can be practised in your spare time too. The importance of the connection between body and mind is central to yoga.

It’s no wonder why it is so widely adopted across the entire world!

There are numerous forms of yoga, but the most well known is Hatha yoga which originated from the path of Raja yoga and is the primary school of yoga practised in the west. In Sanskrit Hatha is broken into 2 words; ‘Ha’ which means Sun and ‘that’ which means moon, the yoga of the sun and moon. Many other styles of yoga have been formed from hatha yoga.

Pilates demands all of your attention
Pilates adds a form of mindfulness to the posture and is another key to supporting the connection between your body and mind. Photo Source: Unsplash

The Difference Between Pilates And Yoga

Personally, I think that the main difference between Yoga and Pilates is that yoga is a lifestyle system and Pilates is an exercise system. Pilates was inspired in part by yoga so naturally, there will be some similarities.

Pilates focuses on relaxing and strengthening the muscular body and gives you the benefit of a toned and lean form with strong muscles. It can often use some different kinds of equipment also. Great for people who want to tone their body, especially the abs.

Yoga heavily focuses on the mind, body and spirit and uses much more stretching to improve the flexibility of joints. The main aim of yoga is to unite the body and mind to find peace and harmony. You need no equipment to practise yoga only a yoga mat.  You can also lose weight with yoga, but it is not generally the primary focus. Great for people who are looking for more flexibility, spirituality and stress reduction.

Now check out yoga classes near me so you can sample both Pilates and Yoga!

Get help with either Pilates or Yoga with Superporf!

If you are looking to learn how to do pilates or yoga in Ireland, there are a number of worthwhile considerations when selecting the right teacher for you. The proximity of the instructor is always a good place to start, particularly if you plan to meet multiple times a week.

Even a seemingly insignificant commute can take its toll on your study if you are travelling multiple times a week to your classes. Luckily there is plenty of qualified pilates and yoga instructors scattered around the country, so finding a suitable candidate to help take you to the next level shouldn’t be too difficult!

Pilates and Yoga asanas are quite similar, they both work with the breath, increase flexibility, increase strength and body awareness. The costs of Pilates classes and Yoga classes start at a fairly low rate.

On average, pilates instructors charge between €12 and €30 per hour for their sessions but this will also vary according to where you do your classes. Due to the cost of living, pilates classes in Dublin and Galway tend to cost more than elsewhere in Ireland. 

Yoga classes could run you a little more of a price tag for your hour-long or half-hour sessions. Maybe this is also something that you should keep in mind when trying to decide which one is for you. Yoga instructors charge between anywhere €15 and €35 per hour for their hour-long classes, or €10 and €20 for half-hour classes.

Find the right classes for you today with Superprof!

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