Yoga vs. Pilates

Both yoga and Pilates are very popular methods of staying fit, and there are great benefits to be had from doing either. How do these two practices differ and which is better for you?

Yoga has been around much longer than Pilates, going back thousands of years. Yoga was originally created by “yogis” who were in search of a way to free themselves from human desires and develop their spirituality. Early yogis sought enlightenment through meditation, often in seclusion. Over centuries, various yogis created their own branches of yoga that came to be named for them.

Pilates is much newer, having been invented during the first half of the 20th century by German physical culturist Joseph Pilates. His exercises were designed to strengthen the human mind as well as the body, with a goal of achieving mental and physical unity and strength. The special machines he invented are used in Pilates studios today to build core strength and correct postural imbalances.

These two practices also differ in atmosphere and ambiance. Yoga studios try to create a feeling of tranquility with dim lights, incense and scented candles. Pilates studios are generally well-lit so that those taking the class can use the anatomical illustrations and photos of exercises on the walls for inspiration and instruction.

So which can do the most for you? If you’re looking for an oasis in your hectic life, the centering and meditation of yoga can give you the sense of peace and wellness that you’re looking for. If you’ve been feeling like your body is out of whack, Pilates can help you to get back in alignment again. Both can help you to feel better and stronger.

Pura Vida Urban Fitness has classes in Pilates as well as yoga, so why not try both to see which is better for your body and lifestyle?

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