Have you been to your local gym or fitness centre recently and wondered why there is a room packed full of extremely bendy people?
The chances are they are partaking in two of the bendiest trends to hit the gym: yoga and Pilates, which improve both flexibility, toning up and reducing stress. Despite appearing very similar, the two practices are very different.
- Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that originated in India about 5,000 years ago. The Sanskrit word yoga is translated as 'union'
- The British Wheel of Yoga summerises Yoga as helping to co-ordinate the breath, mind and body to encourage balance, both internally and externally and promote feelings of relaxation and ease
- The NHS explains that Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. It was created by German-born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s and incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise
- Pilates helps to correct your alignment and break bad posture habits
- It doesn't have to be Yoga vs Pilates - they compliment each other and doing both can make you more flexible, toned and more able to deal with stress
- Just because you might not be getting hot and sweaty (unless you choose the hot and sweaty yoga class) doesn't mean you don't need to warm up first - you will still be working lots of different muscle groups
Find out more here. The wonderfully named Sydney Craig from Pilates Tonic analyses the two practices and succinctly explains the differences in this short but to-the-point clip.
What's the Difference Between Pilates and Yoga? By Pilates Tonic
Why not mix it up with a workout that fuses Pilates and yoga into one ultra-flexible mash-up.