What is the difference between Yoga and Pilates? Which one is better?
I get asked this question very often at my massage clinic in Geneva, being a instructor of both modalities here is my answer.
First of all lets consider what is the reason for you choosing one of these modalities?
Fitness, rehabilitation, better flexibility, strength, or something else?
According to what is your goals are your choice will be easier to determine.
Pilates is a rehabilitative exercise it focuses on activating our deeper core muscles to improve posture strength and flexibility. It started as rehabilitation program for injured soldiers after world war 1 and it took off when it was introduced as a method to improve performance for dancers. During the class you can expect to discover new muscles you have not felt for a while. The breathing is also an essential part of the workout as managing the breath we can improve strength coordination posture and much more.
What about Yoga? Well yoga is not just a form of exercise is a philosophy of life. Through postures called Asanas we aim to calm our minds and to recenter ourselves. The exercise is viewed as an access for stillness of the mind and and not necessarily the ultimate goal. It has been around for well over 5000 years.
Improved strength: both
Improved flexibility: both but perhaps quicker with yoga
Improved posture: both but perhaps quicker with pilates
Calmness of the mind: yoga
So how do you choose?
Why don't you try both and see what resonates with you? Find a teacher that will walk you through the journey and see where it takes you you will certainly feel stronger and fitter for it. I myself like to practice both however I feel that Pilates is just exercise and while Yoga helps both my physical strength as well as my mental health and well-being.
See you soon at the clinic for some yoga and Pilates time.