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    Yoga or Pilates, Which One Is For You

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    Yoga and Pilates are often placed in the same category, but each has characteristics that divide them and make them similar at the same time. Both relate to a relaxing way to exercise at home or in a group.

    What is yoga?

    Yoga was created in India more than 5,000 years ago with the purpose of connecting human consciousness with universal consciousness through physical activity. It was designed to improve physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health.

    Through repetitive movement, yoga targets flexibility and large muscle groups, while being extremely therapeutic. There are many types of yoga and some involve meditation and deep breathing, which help relaxation. The meditative side of yoga tends to appeal to people looking to take it easy and de-stress.

    Yoga offers many benefits: balance, strength, endurance, spirituality, meditation, controlled breathing, as well as multiple physical and mental benefits Classes can range from light and relaxing to challenging and intense. With all the variety, there’s a class to suit everyone’s personal style or mood.

    What is pilates?

    Pilates is a system of physical conditioning that was created in the early 20th century by a man named Joseph Pilates. Pilates was formed during World War I with the intention of helping wounded soldiers return to health by strengthening, stretching, and stabilizing certain muscles.

    In Pilates, fewer and more precise movements are used to achieve the principles of correct alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flow. Joseph believed that mental and physical health were essential to each other, creating what is a total body conditioning method.

    Like yoga, Pilates helps increase strength, flexibility, and muscle tone with a special emphasis on aligning and lengthening the body. It also provides a host of other benefits including improvements in bone density, pelvic floor function, and lung capacity, among many others.

    Health Benefits of Practicing Yoga

    Differences

    If the goal is to lose weight, Pilates exercises can be performed using machines, so adding cardio to the poses can help burn calories. Yoga might be the most effective exercise to combat depression or anxiety because it focuses on both the mind and the body. In yoga, breathing exercises help you achieve relaxation. This is because you have to focus on how you take each breath, and this in turn can help relax the muscle groups in your body.

    Another difference between yoga and pilates is that pilates exercises are much more intense and results can be seen much faster than yoga. Through frequent pilates exercises, a flatter and firmer belly can be more easily achieved.

    One of the main differences between yoga and pilates is that yoga can be used to improve the flexibility of the body and joints. Pilates, however, focuses on trying to relax and strengthen tight muscles.

    Trying both is a great way to strengthen and tone while gaining stress and flexibility. “A strong body without flexibility is a limited body”!

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