Sparkle #16: Yoga vs Pilates

Hello people, can you believe it is the last week of January already? Someone once told me, time flies when you are spending it well. I can say this is true for me right now – putting together all these posts on a daily basis does make me happy! So here’s to more sparkle and cheer in the coming days.

Coming back to my Inspired Monday’s post, today I particularly felt the need for some fitness inspiration. Thanks to this rainy, cold and gloomy weather, I have been inconsistent with both my workout and diet this month. I hope to get back on track as the weather starts clearing up in February.

I like working out everyday, and the one hour session with my Yoga instructor is definitely the highlight of my day. I also like mixing things up by incorporating other exercises and after trying a few, I have found that brisk walking, running and dance complement my Yoga routine well. I am currently doing Zumba twice a week and loving it!

I have recently hit a weight loss plateau with my Yoga practice, and while by no means do I intend to stop my class, I am considering taking a trial Pilates session. Given that Yoga and Pilates are complementary routines, I am thinking it might be a good idea to incorporate some Pilates moves in my Yoga class to shake things up a bit.

Before signing up for a class, I turned to my good friend, to understand the similarities and differences between the two forms. Here are my top observations:

First the similarities:

Both Yoga & Pilates:

  • Connect the mind and body
  • Work on improving balance
  • Promote focus, alignment and proper breathing
  • Work well for runners
  • Aid weight loss (burn almost the same amount of calories)
  • Can be easily done at home with minimum equipment

And what’s different? 

Yoga

  • 5000+ year old origins (India)
  • Focuses on balance, meditation and relaxation
  • Spirituality and positive thinking are central to the practice
  • Good for improving stretching; flexibility wins over strength (but works on both)
  • Not just an exercise routine, Yoga is more of a lifestyle change
  • Reduces stress and anxiety, thus very relevant in these times
  • The entire class can be done on your Yoga mat (discounting aerial yoga here)
  • Involves static poses with an emphasis on holding the pose
  • Classes are flexible in nature and can be tweaked to suit your needs
  • Breathing technique is to inhale and exhale through your nose

Pilates

  • Relatively new – developed around 80 years ago (Joseph Pilates)
  • Focuses on core (abdomen), concentration and control
  • Connects body & mind, but not spirit
  • Good if you want to strengthen your core; toning wins over flexibility (but works on both)
  • More of a workout routine – but continuous practice will change your body
  • Tones muscles (especially abs) and corrects postural imbalances
  • Most of the routine can be done on a mat, but some exercises need a Pilates machine
  • The poses are movement based and not static
  • Classes are more structured and follow a routine
  • Breathing technique is to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth

In short: If Yoga is the wisdom of the ages, Pilates is the new, cool and hep thing to try in town!

yoga versus pilates workout monday fitness inspiration pumpernickel pixie

Of course, which one will work for you will depend on how your body reacts to the routine. In Pilates, I can spot synergies with what I am doing currently in my Yoga class, and what I want to try next. Hence, I am going to give it a shot as soon as I find a good trainer. Given their harmony, a combination of the two might result in a great workout. I am thinking Yogilates – it sounds absolutely divine and definitely worth a shot. I can already imagine my perfect workout routine – a combination of walking, running, dancing, Yoga and Pilates – lovely!

Some form of daily physical exercise is important, and with so many options to chose from, you really can’t come up with an excuse! So this week, sign up for a Yoga class, try some Pilates, go for a walk or just do any exercise you like. Start your week inspired, and fit!

PS – Here is a beginners Yoga routine, and here is a basic Pilates workout to get you started.

Reading List: Bite size wellness, Greatist, Live & Diet, Blogilates, Graphs, Mind Body Green

(Cover Image: Exercises Pilates)

Jyo

Dreamer, Wanderer, Seeker.....An Antevasin Living on the Edge.....

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *