There are many different styles of working out. Some people enjoy going to the gym running endless miles, grunting while benching twice their weight, and many more. There has been a movement when it comes to exercise that links the body and mind for relaxation and inner peace. This is where the debate comes, yoga or pilates?
Yoga has been around since the ancient time that is intended to unite the body and mind through stretching, strength moves, breathing, and meditation. What makes yoga so appealing is the lifestyle. Yoga is geared to bring inner peace, embracing good personal values like tolerance and love, and clean eating.
Since yoga is the older brother, pilates is the younger spunkier brother. Pilates was developed in the early 1900s by Joseph Pilates to help rehabilitate World War I soldiers. The art of Pilates is considered a mix of two categories – high intensity and low impact that focus around strengthening the upper body and core through body weight and calisthenic training.
Despite some major core differences, Pilates and yoga overlap in many ways. Both have been used for rehabilitation towards injuries and syndromes such as stroke, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, arthritis and more.
Pilates has been shown to improve upper body and core muscle endurance and flexibility. Yoga on the other hand can improve mental and emotional health by calming the sympathetic nervous system (stress manager) and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (hormone regulator).
According to many fitness professionals, Pilates is not better than yoga and yoga is not better than Pilates. It really is just a personal preference, since they both work similar muscles.