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  • Sarah Gilbertson

What is the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?

Pilates and yoga are two low impact methods of exercise that sometimes get confused with one another. Although both are great for your body and a fantastic way to keep fit, there are a few key differences between them. In this blog, we discuss how the two exercises differ, and who they may be best suited for.

What is the difference between yoga and Pilates? The difference between yoga and Pilates is the end goal of the workout, and how they are achieved. Yoga is generally focused on improving flexibility and mindfulness, whereas Pilates is more of a challenge, focusing on building core strength and improving your posture.

Read on to find out what yoga and Pilates are, how they differ, and which exercise is better for weight loss or for beginners.

What is Pilates?

Pilates was created in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates, a German physical exercise trainer. He had vast experience in gymnastics and bodybuilding amongst other pursuits and used this background to eventually devise what became known as PIlates, primarily working with dancers and gymnasts. The low-impact exercise focuses on building strength, flexibility and improving posture through controlled movements that help with alignment. When practiced with a trained instructor, Pilates is an extremely low risk exercise, and it can also be used for injury rehabilitation.

Pilates can be practiced with or without equipment, on the mat, in standing or using chairs. Some specialised Pilates studios use equipment based on the original Joseph Pilates designs, called the Reformer, which looks similar to a bed with a sliding carriage on springs. The Reformer can be used sitting, standing, or lying down for a number of Pilates exercises.

What Are the Benefits of Pilates?

Pilates comes with many benefits for your body and mind, including:

  • Increased core strength and stability

  • Improved posture from muscles being stretched and becoming stronger and more flexible

  • Reduced back pain

  • Can help with injury rehabilitation and speed up recovery

  • Improved sense of well-being

For those of you interested in instructor-led Pilates classes, explore our Pilates timetable. Based in the Peak District, we offer classes for beginners to intermediates as well as private 1-1 sessions.

What is Yoga?

Originating in India, Yoga is an exercise based on four key principles, which include breathing, relaxation, nutrition, and meditation. The practice is used to connect body with mind, offering a workout that can also benefit your mindfulness.

The workout includes a set of poses, also known as a ‘flow’, that are connected by gentle movements. There is a focus on breathing and meditation when practicing yoga, which, when combined with poses, help you to feel deeply relaxed. Yoga uses minimal equipment and can simply be practiced with a mat.

What Are the Benefits of Yoga?

Yoga comes with a myriad of benefits, which include:

  • Increased body awareness

  • Improved flexibility

  • Reduced stress and anxiety, leading to better sleep

  • Little to no equipment is needed to practice yoga, so it can be practiced anywhere

If you would like to try yoga, book yourself a place on our exclusive one-day Wellness Retreats. You’ll get to experience an instructor-led class, followed by Nordic Walking, as well as food and drink from local independent businesses.

How are Yoga and Pilates Different?

Although both yoga and Pilates focus on mind-body connection, they differ mostly in the way of practice and the desired end goal. Yoga has a deeper focus on mindfulness, as it uses breath work within the flow to achieve deep relaxation and help reduce anxiety.

Pilates focuses more on core strength, also strengthening your back and hips, whilst also improving flexibility and mobility. Breathwork is also used in Pilates, however, it is more commonly used to help you concentrate on the right muscles to keep them engaged. Because of the focus on core strength, you may see improved muscle tone with Pilates.

Is Pilates or Yoga Better for Beginners?

If you are new to mind-body exercises, we would suggest trying one of our beginners Pilates classes. In the class, we focus on mind-body connection and the correct breathing techniques - which can also be applied when practicing yoga. The instructor-led classes can give you a good insight into what the Pilates techniques involves. However, we can’t choose a favourite for you, so we would encourage you to give both Pilates and yoga a try to decide which you gel with the most.

Pilates Classes and Yoga Retreats with MVMT

Deciding what type of workout to try can be a challenge for many people. Overall, if you want to focus on improving your core strength and posture, we’d recommend trying Pilates. If you are aiming to improve your overall wellness and flexibility, yoga could be a better workout for you to try. If you are recovering from injury or have any medical concerns, make sure you choose an instructor who understands how to make modifications and adapt exercises correctly for you.

Luckily, with MVMT, you can try both yoga and Pilates!! We offer a number of Pilates classes at different levels around the Peak District. Led by Sarah, our friendly qualified instructor, the Pilates classes can be a great way to improve your fitness on a busy schedule.

If yoga sounds more up your street, why not try one of our wellness retreats? Take one day for yourself and enjoy an instructor-led yoga session, followed by Nordic Walking around the beautiful Chatsworth Estate, and delicious food and drink in between. If you’d like to find out more about the services we offer at MVMT, please get in touch with our team, who will be happy to advise.

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