Teachers Doing Pilates and Yoga

Pilates and yoga in Singapore—two popular workouts that many of us are familiar with. These two exercises are often compared or interchanged, but in spite of their slightly similar elements, yoga and pilates do have some differences.

A lot of us, especially working adults, experience physical problems or health issues brought about by everyday life. It’s hard to avoid getting sick or experiencing physical discomfort every once in a while. Work and school can be pretty demanding at times. However, just because our responsibilities are important doesn’t mean we can neglect our physical and mental health. You need to prioritize your well-being to function properly otherwise you will be prone to body pains or infectious diseases. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce this, one of which is by working out!

When it comes to an effective workout, yoga and pilates are two things that are checked on the list. Both have become before famous for their health benefits and are being practiced by a lot of people.

If you are interested to focus on becoming more healthy, yoga and pilates might be a good choice for you. Both have classes and instructors that will guide you along the way.

But the real question is, which one is the better physical activity for you?

Getting To Know Yoga vs Pilates

Both yoga and pilates involve doing postures that will help increase your body’s flexibility and strengthen your muscles. They both require doing precise movements that will lead to a healthier and stronger physical state. Yoga and pilates also share a common ground in making use of exercise props such as a mat.

Both exercises have many similarities but they also differ in some ways. If you are wondering which one is more suitable for you, then read on to find out.

Let’s begin by familiarizing yourself with the two types of workouts.

What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a type of exercise that aims to strengthen the muscle groups through movements that will improve the postural alignment of the body. This was created by John Pilates during the end of World War I and was used for the rehabilitation of soldiers.

Pilates focuses on executing small movements that require the use of the back and core strength. This low-impact exercise involves slow and precise movements and it does not necessarily require the use of props or equipment all the time.

Benefits Of Pilates:

  • increases your muscle
  • strength and endurance
  • improves your flexibility
  • develops your balance and posture
  • reduces joint pain

Controlled breathing is a major part of pilates. Executing the slow, precise movements should be accompanied by steady breathing. Pilates is a highly recommended exercise especially for those who are experiencing health issues such as joint injuries, back pain, arthritis, or respiratory conditions.

Pilates also has two kinds of classes: mat classes and reformer classes. The two classifications depend on the type of equipment pilates uses. Mat classes involve the use of a mat which is a bit thicker than yoga mats. On the other hand, a reformer is a sliding platform with a footbar, pulley, and strings used to provide resistance.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga, which originated from India, is a meditative form of workout wherein you are required to do various poses. It aims to strengthen the muscles in your body and also enhance your flexibility. Furthermore, yoga also helps to develop your psychological state by teaching you to be mindful and to engage in a better lifestyle.

Proper breathing plays a vital role in yoga as you execute the different postures. However, yoga is not just for bodily improvement. It also gives emphasis on the importance of meditation and mindfulness which leads to developing an individual’s positive thinking and lifestyle.

A lot of people have studied the benefits of yoga. Since this exercise is centered on relaxation, it helps to deal with a lot of medical and mental issues such as:

  • arthritis
  • respiratory problems
  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes
  • chronic pain
  • multiple sclerosis
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression

There are many kinds of yoga classes to choose from. It will primarily depend on what type of workout your body needs because each class features different types of postures, movements, or features. If you are not sure which yoga class is the best for you, you can always consult a yoga teacher to guide you.

Here some of the notable yoga classes:

  • Hot yoga
  • Ashtanga yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Vinyasa yoga
  • Bikram yoga
  • Kundalini yoga
  • Yin yoga

What Are The Similarities Between Yoga Class And Pilates Class?

As mentioned above, yoga and pilates share a lot in common much so that they are often compared to each other.

Use of Props And Equipment

Both types of exercise sometimes make use of props and equipment. This is because some movements or postures require the support of props like yoga and pilates mats, blocks, bolsters, and rings. These items play a vital role in some of the poses that are to be executed.

Breathing Exercises

Another important thing that both pilates and yoga share in common is the need for proper breathing techniques. Breathing, other than keeping us alive, actually helps improve our health a lot. Diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing is the one needed in the aforementioned workouts.

Mental Focus And Concentration

Practicing yoga and pilates requires your full mental focus. The reason why these two exercises are different from others is because of their ability to help improve our psychological being. In yoga and pilates classes you often find people exercising in a calm and concentrated manner.

Pilates vs Yoga: The Differences

In terms of variety, yoga has a lot more different types rather than pilates. Many of the yoga classes demand the flexibility and mobility of the joints. Here you have to flex and move your hips, wrists, and spine most of the time which is why it may appear as a challenge to those who experience severe pain or only allowed to move limitedly.

Practicing pilates also involves a lot of different movements but the major thing that differentiates its two types are the kinds of equipment being used. Pilates is a great workout for older people or those who are in the process of recovering from injuries. Pilates is therapeutic due to its slow and precise movements.

To sum it up, the difference between yoga and pilates is that yoga is more of increasing the flexibility of your joints and muscles while pilates is more of strengthening the muscles in your body and relaxing those that are stressed.

Which Is The Better Exercise: Yoga Or Pilates?

Both yoga and pilates are great workouts. They may have their differences but for the most part, they provide similar benefits to the human body. They help us improve our bodily strength and flexibility and also reduce our stress and anxiety but helping develop our mindsets.

There is really no saying which one is the better type of workout because it will all depend on what you really need to work on. If you have trouble deciding which exercise is best for you, then it would be better to consult our yoga centre in Singapore to guide you. The important thing is to keep in mind that it is important to take of your physical health in order to reduce stress and illnesses.

Perhaps, the pilates vs yoga debate will never be settled.

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.