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Pilates versus yoga: What’s a better workout?

Published on:8 January 2021, 19:13pm IST
While both Pilates and yoga are gentle practices that can help you stay fit, they each come with distinct advantages. Here’s how you can choose between the two.
Grand Master Akshar
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Pilates versus yoga
It’s Pilates vs yoga, and here’s how you can choose the winner. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Both Pilates and yoga are equally good practices if you are looking to stay fit. What you choose should be based entirely on your requirement. Pilates has its own set of functionality in training and benefits. And, yoga consists of postures, breathing exercises, mudras and lots of other practices. 

Yoga is a holistic practice that looks after your overall well-being whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. When you dig deep pursuing an in-depth study of yoga or Pilates, you will find that both have their own benefits for you. 

Pilates is great for flexibility and building strength

Pilates works on functional fitness where it trains you to build your core and focuses on breath work. Pilates consists of different formations and variations of postures that are done in yoga. Plank posture, downward dog, upward dog, cat pose, boat pose, and many other postures in Pilates have been borrowed from yoga. 

Pilates versus yoga
Pilates is a great way to weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Additionally Pilates can be done on a yoga mat with no equipment, but there are also highly specialised centres with Pilates equipment that can be used to build your physical strength and flexibility. 

Yoga comes with tonnes of mental health benefits 

Yoga is a spiritual practice which works not only on the body but it also helps your mind and emotions. Yoga contains meditation and breathing techniques which help you regulate your breath. In this way, yoga allows you to gain mastery over your senses and emotions. 

As a holistic tool for overall well-being, yoga has 84 lakh postures and is considered an ancient art form that goes back well over 5,000 years ago. For those who suffer from mental ailments such as anxiety, depression, and other stress-related disorders, it is suggested that they should not perform physical practice like Pilates directly. Instead, they should first turn to a healing practice like yoga which can provide many therapeutic benefits. 

Pilates versus yoga
Breathe easy with yoga. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

This is because when the mind is disturbed, the body is not aligned with your breath. You are more likely to injure yourself during a workout when the mind is not able to focus on the task at hand. This is the reason why yoga is a recommended practice even by medical practitioners. 

Both Pilates and yoga come with their own sets of advantages. It is best if you combine both these practices. This way you can gain immense knowledge and double the benefits to get the best of both worlds. 

Grand Master Akshar Grand Master Akshar

Grand Master Akshar is an internationally acclaimed Spiritual yogic master. He is the founder, chairman and course director of Akshar Yoga and president of World Yoga Organisation. He is also the President of the International Siddha Foundation.