Both yoga and Pilates are great exercises for improving flexibility, but they achieve this goal in different ways. Yoga is a more spiritual practice that focuses on linking the mind and body, while Pilates is a more scientific approach that emphasizes alignment and muscle control. So which one is better for you? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of yoga vs Pilates.
Yoga is a low-impact fitness strategy that is based on physical poses and breathing techniques. It is meant to be meditative and promote mindfulness, but it is also beneficial for improving flexibility.
Although it is now popular in the United States, yoga comes from an ancient spiritual practice in India. The poses range in skill level from poses that are accessible to beginners to poses that require significant flexibility, speed, and skill.
Yoga is an excellent way to improve your flexibility while improving your overall wellness at the same time. Here are the pros and cons of using yoga to improve your flexibility.
Pros of Yoga for Flexibility
- According to WebMD, yoga can ease pain in the lower back and neck. It is also known to relieve stress and ease pain from stress-related illnesses.
- Yoga is accessible to almost everyone.
Cons of Yoga for Flexibility
- Yoga may offer better overall wellness improvement rather than specifically targeting flexibility.
- You may notice improvements in your flexibility less quickly by doing yoga than Pilates.
Pilates is another low-impact fitness strategy. It is very similar to yoga in that you also strike a physical pose. However, in yoga, you would hold that position and focus on breathing before moving positions. In Pilates, you challenge your core and range of motion by moving your arms or legs from your position.
Pilates began with a man named Joseph Pilates. Born in 1883, Joseph Pilates sought to improve his health by studying fitness techniques that involved both the mind and body. Following World War I, Pilates brought his own style of exercise to New York City to teach dancers, actors, and athletes. Today, Pilates is rapidly growing in popularity.
Like yoga, Pilates is a great way to increase strength and flexibility. However, it achieves this goal in a different way. Here are the pros and cons of using Pilates to increase your flexibility.
Pros of Pilates for Flexibility
- Pilates increases your core strength, which can improve your stability.
- Pilates is thought to ease some back and neck pain and can be used for physical rehabilitation.
- You may notice results faster than yoga because exercises are more intense.
Cons of Pilates for Flexibility
- Pilates may be more motivating for those who like to push or challenge themselves than for those who want a mindful, relaxing fitness experience.
Yoga vs Pilates for Flexibility
Yoga vs. Pilates: Which ones should you choose for improving your flexibility? Both strategies are highly effective for improving your flexibility. Your choice may depend more on your temperament and what motivates you to be active.
If you are someone who is motivated by intense, challenging workouts and pushing your range of motion, Pilates is a better choice. However, if you are motivated by relaxing fitness experiences where you can take your time and focus on breathing and mindfulness exercises, yoga is for you.
Choosing a fitness strategy that will keep you motivated and engaged is the best way to ensure you’ll see results. Ultimately, you could choose to do both yoga and Pilates if that’s the best fit for you.
If you’re ready to start with yoga or Pilates, grab a mat and look for a certified instructor near you. Working with a certified instructor is a great way to learn while ensuring your health and safety.