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On the surface, yoga and Pilates seem like very similar kinds of exercises. In fact, people with similar goals in mind may practice either of these disciplines, and lots of folks find that they benefit from practicing both. In order to decide if yoga or Pilates or both would benefit you the most, learn how they are both similar and different.

Yoga Vs. Pilates

First, consider a brief overview of yoga and Pilates:

Yoga

While yoga consists of physical exercises, it's also meant to help strengthen the mind. In fact, yoga practitioners view the body and mind as a unit. In that way, yoga exercises are meant to strengthen you both mentally and physically and also, to strengthen the bond between your body and mind.

Yoga is meant to promote strength, flexibility, and relaxation. While yoga can help you get in better physical strength, it's also valued as a way to relieve mental stress. Typically, you practice yoga as a series of poses that use your own body's weight as resistance. The only equipment that most people use is a mat to perform the poses on. Control of breathing is also fundamental to yoga.

Pilates

Pilates also includes exercises performed on a mat but may utilize other equipment. It's intended to improve both strength and flexibility, particularly for the core muscles of the body. While this discipline puts some emphasis on a mental component, it's focused more upon offering a balanced and whole-body workout. Breathing is also an important part of Pilates, but in this case, control of breathing is focused more upon delivering plenty of energy to working muscles.

Is Pilates Or Yoga A Better Choice For You?

It's interesting to note that Joseph Pilates, the man who invented the exercise with his name, first studied yoga. It's obvious that this older discipline inspired him. On the other hand, many modern yoga studios have begun to incorporate some of the same types of equipment that he first used. In that way, it's possible to say that both yoga and Pilates are still evolving together.

Again, both of these kinds of exercises can help you get stronger and more flexible. While yoga is more famous as a way to relieve stress, many people also find that they have an easier time relaxing and responding to stress when they practice Pilates. Active kinds of yoga may burn more calories; however, Pilates has become most famous as a good way to develop a strong core.

To make a good choice between yoga and Pilates, it's probably a good idea to try a few sessions of each. Most gyms and studios will give new students a chance to try out a class or two before they commit. No matter which one you pick, you're likely to benefit from the chance to get stronger, more flexible, and even happier. That makes either one of these types of exercises a good and healthy choice on your part. Some people do both because they find that Pilates and yoga complement each other well.