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What’s the difference between Pilates and Yoga?

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Both Pilates and Yoga are highly celebrated low impact exercises. Despite their seemingly similar, mat-based regimes they are in fact entirely different workouts. There are an untold amount of interpretations of both disciplines, but what connects them is their engagement with breathing. As practices today, Pilates and Yoga owe their success to components such as the greater focus on physical health, increased stress levels, and celebrity endorsements - Madonna is one of many who have long sworn their allegiance to Yoga, whilst Beyonce is an advocate for all things pilates.

What is Pilates?

Created for the physical rehabilitation of soldiers, Pilates is a practice very young in comparison to Yoga but it has utilised the modern-day world of workouts just the same. Pilates focuses on a number of principles such as control, flow, centering, precision, and concentration and uses fewer, more precise movements to achieve these principles.

Pilates classes are frequently encouraged following an injury as it focuses on creating balance and alignment through controlled movement, Pilates exercises work in a unique way by creating opposition through the body, which creates a balance between strength and mobility. As it concentrates on mobility, posture, and balance there is a much lower risk of injury in comparison to other strenuous exercises.

Additional benefits of Pilates include reduced joint pain and an increase in muscle strength and endurance. Participants thrive in the awareness of their own bodies and appreciate that their strengthening exercises do not lead to bulking muscles.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice of spirituality, first established in India more than 5000 years ago.

Its aim was to discipline the body and mind in a way that enabled individuals to connect with a higher consciousness.

Further to deepening spiritual connectivity and meditation, Yoga classes are excellent for improving the flexibility of the body and its joints. Most classes involve flowing through a series of poses such as the warrior pose, downward dog, tree pose, and cobra whilst utilising your body weight as resistance - therefore improving balance.

The breathing exercises practiced whilst in class help to achieve relaxation. Yoga is recognised as an activity effective in combating conditions such as depression and anxiety because it focuses on the mind as well as the body.

Each promotes connectivity to your body and are great ways to strengthen and tone, relieve stress, and develop flexibility.

Which is right for you? This is an individual choice and often people choose one over the other, but there is no reason not to try both! Pilates is about a movement which is one of the main differences between Yoga. Movement heals and is what we were born to do!

Our Pilates Classes and private sessions in Sidcup will teach you to work from the centre outwards; developing a strong body awareness, which will help you to move better, reduce pain, and improve your mobility. The concentration of Pilates will also help reduce stress levels and promote an overall sense of well being and aid relaxation.

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