“Yoga and Pilates are both worth trying! Either or both practices, when added to your regular workout routine, bring more awareness and precision to your movements.“
- Sabrina Morici
Yoga or Pilates: Which Should You Choose?
Yoga and Pilates have similar benefits and applications but are different at their core. Yoga usually includes a flowing sequence of Yoga Asana and a meditative practice. Pilates is typically structured in sets of exercises done with precision. There is more leniency in Yoga to experiment with the Asana, but both methods have specific alignment instructions to prevent injury. Both practices encourage students to listen to their bodies and move at their own pace.
Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice developed in the 1300s, starting with the practice of Meditation. Yoga goes far beyond the physical Asana we flow through in Yoga classes. Yoga is a set of moral guidelines on how to treat others, how to treat yourself, and how to interact with the divine. The Eight Limbs of Yoga describe the process of working towards Enlightenment.
Yoga means Union. It is a Union of the Body, Mind, and Soul. It is also a Union of the Yogi and the Divine. These traditional methods align your body and energy to facilitate overall healing.
In the Yoga classes in the West, we see Yoga used as a fitness practice. Although there are many physical benefits, Yoga is much, much more than the Asana. Some of the physical benefits include spinal alignment, pain relief, flexibility, and muscle toning.
Meditation, which is directly linked to Yoga and described in the Yoga Limbs 4 through 8, has many physical and mental health benefits as well. Meditation has been proven to decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, improve focus and memory, and support immune function, toxin release, and hormone regulation.
Pilates, on the other hand, is rooted in physical health. This practice was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. He originally developed the method to heal himself. He then brought his techniques to his community. During World War 1, Joseph Pilates worked as an orderly on the Isle of Man. He would help injured soldiers by supporting their limbs with bedsprings and, from there, developed his ‘body-conditioning’ methods.
The practice focuses on “Breath, whole-body health, and whole-body commitment, with the whole body encompassing body, mind, and spirit,” says the Pilates Foundation. Using Pilates, we can tone and lengthen the entire body. By focusing on muscle engagement, you will form proper alignment and awareness that continues to support you outside of class, too.
Some physical benefits of Pilates include improved overall strength, posture, flexibility, and balance. Pilates also aids in stress reduction and improves focus and memory.
Yoga and Pilates are both worth trying! Either or both practices, when added to your regular workout routine, bring more awareness and precision to your movements.
If you’d like to try a Yoga or Pilates class with me, I teach every Wednesday at 5 pm for Yinyasa, Thursday at 6:15 pm for Hot Mindful Yoga, and Saturday at 9:30 am for Mat Pilates. You’ll also find my reformer classes on the schedule throughout the week!
Join my Balanced by Nature Retreat in Anna Maria Island, Florida, on January 12th – 16th. We will practice Yoga, Meditation, Mat Pilates, Reiki Soundbath, and enjoy a Sunset Dolphin Boat Tour and Nature Walk through Leffis Key Wildlife Preserve. We are just a 3-minute walk from the beach and less than a minute to the docks. Experience complete relaxation with no responsibility for five days! You will leave this trip feeling more confident being authentically you!!!
Visit www.inspiredyogapilates.com/retreat-information for more info!
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