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Decoding the Principles Behind Yoga and Pilates

People concerned about their fitness would also be passionate about Yoga and Pilates. These disciplines have been practiced by many, but often the question arises – which is better? This question itself cannot be farther from the truth since there are fundamental differences between the two.

Similarities between Pilates and Yoga

A few similarities remain, though. Both Pilates and Yoga would help your body become stronger and more flexible. But the way in which they achieve this is different:
Yoga and Pilates

  • Pilates focuses on working out the body totally through better alignment of the spine and strengthening of the core. While some sessions employ machines for gaining strength, exercises to achieve this involve certain controlled movements. As with yoga, the mat is a key ingredient in some Pilates sessions in which the body’s resistance is used to deliver the results.
  • Yoga, on the other hand, involves working out all the body muscles equally. Postures are followed by counter-postures for ensuring that balance is created in the body. Core strength is one of the major elements of yoga though not the full focus. This actually helps increase the efficiency of other treatments the patient may be undergoing.

Breathing techniques are key elements in Pilates as well as Yoga. While Pilates basically involves inhalation through the nose and exhalation through the mouth, Yoga takes breathing to the next level particularly in Ashtanga and Vinyasa sessions where Ujjayi breath is practiced. There are often complete segments wholly dedicated to breathing exercises.


The key difference between Yoga and Pilates lies in the fact that while Pilates is based on the understanding that there is a definite connection between mind and body, Yoga emphasizes the connection between the mind, body and spirit. Spirituality through meditation is one of the major elements of Yoga.

Yoga and Pilates will both help in weight loss:

  • You can burn around 145 calories in a 50-minute Yoga hatha class, while a power yoga session could help burn around 250 calories. Combining this with jogging could help reduce more pounds off your body.
  • With Pilates, even a 50-minute workout for beginners would help burn around 175 calories. Advanced workout sessions could help reduce anywhere from 255 to 375 calories. To consistently experience weight loss with Pilates you would have to follow a routine of at least 45 to 60 minutes for around four days.

Overall Advantages of the Two

Yoga has been claimed to provide overall inner peace, and studies have shown the body to bring down the levels of the cortisol stress hormone after merely a single session. It has also been found to relieve back pain and arthritis more than other conventional exercises. Pilates can help strengthen the abdomen and back, increasing flexibility and improving posture.

Both these disciplines have their respective benefits. An experienced and multispecialty healthcare center would be able to give you expert advice on the right procedure for you.

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