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Pilates vs Yoga: Which Is Better For You

By Courtney Forster August 07, 2019 0 comments

Pilates and yoga are both great exercises to build up your inner strength while working on important breathing techniques. Partaking in these practices is not just good for your body but it offers a chance for you to work on your mental health too. With different variations available, there are plenty of techniques for you to choose from to fit your fitness needs.


With that being said, there are many different types of Pilates, yoga, and even yogalates. So, how do you know which one is best for your health? In the debate of Pilates vs yoga, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration. Aside from the fact that both of these workouts were practically built for OxLaLa leggings due to their support and comfort, there are key differences that you should know.

Woman sitting down on mat

Pilates vs Yoga: What is the difference?


Pilates and yoga are similar in the fact that they both offer low-impact workouts that focus on using your bodyweight for resistance. By doing so, you start to build muscle from your core outwards. As a result, you’re increasing your overall health and building the way for a better quality of life. However, this may be the only similarity these two exercises share. Let’s get into it!


Pilates

Going back to World War 1, Joseph Pilates developed a series of exercises to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers. Since then, it has grown in popularity and many swear by its results.


Pilates mainly focuses on the smaller movements that require you to tap into your core muscles for an important stabilizing effect. As you engage your core, you are contracting both your stomach and back muscles with each controlled breath. This is the starting point for each Pilates movement.

Pilates exercises

Unlike yoga, Pilates isn’t so much about a flow of movements as much as it’s about targeting certain muscle groups. The slow and precise movements offer a full body workout that will help improve your posture, flexibility, and even your overall mobility. You can expect to make use of equipment such as springs, levers, and a reformer. However, you mostly will use your own bodyweight as a point of resistance.


Pilates is a great option for those who suffer from:

  • Running injuries
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Postpartum pelvic floor issues
  • Back pain

Yoga

Yoga is predominantly a mind and body practice with a strong focus on different breathing techniques, postures, and meditation methods. There are many forms of yoga that offer different workout results but the principles of balanced well-being remain true throughout.


The practice of yoga goes back to over 5,000 years ago. Originating in India, it was only in the late 19th century that this form of exercise grew in Western popularity. While fitness isn’t the primary goal of yoga, it does offer a fantastic core workout and a good stretch for your tense muscle.


The philosophy of yoga is rooted in spirituality that can come from a guided session. Using imagery of a tree, yogis are encouraged to think of their movements from their roots as their blossom into each new form. Due to the different goals one can attain with this type of exercise, there are 6 different sets of movements to yoga.


These 6 branches of yoga are:

  • Hatha
  • Raja
  • Karma
  • Bhakti
  • Jnana
  • Tantra

The combination of physical movement and mindful meditation is great for those who are wanting to bring awareness to their breath and energy sources. By doing so, those who partake in yoga has noticed some huge improvements in both their physical and mental health.

Child pose


Pilates vs Yoga: Which is the Better Workout?

As you can probably tell, the debate of Pilates vs yoga largely depends on your intention for each exercise. While both are great for building your inner strength and helping you feel your most beautiful self, they offer very different benefits.


Let’s start with the benefits of yoga. Yoga will require some level of flexibility and mobility of your joints which means this is a perfect option for those who suffer from back conditions or stiffness. This will be challenging, at first, but the more you practice your poses, the more you will become in tune with your body’s needs.


With that being said, there are various forms of yoga to suit how you’re body is feeling. If you’re looking for a gentle stretching practice, restorative yoga is incredible when it comes to quietening the mind and achieving a level of zen.


In short, yoga is best if you’d want to:

  • Build your flexibility
  • Alleviate back pain
  • Fight off depression and stress

Pilates, on the other hand, is fantastic when it comes to building your strength. By challenging your body to work with its weight, you’re engaging your muscles in a way that they haven't been before. Along with improved flexibility and mobility like yoga provides, Pilates is better for a more focused workout. While the focus is also on the breath and your balance, Pilates requires a little control and muscle contractions.


Pilates can be described as a way of putting your body into unstable posture and challenging your body to find its stability. Through this process, you’re calling on different muscles groups to activate and move with your limbs.


With that in mind, Pilates is better in the sense that it:

  • Offers low-impact exercises
  • Creates added resistance
  • Builds your core muscles
  • Targets specific muscles and builds strength
yoga pose

Pilates and yoga are both amazing choices for your workouts. What we love most is that when wearing a pair of OxLaLa’s you truly get the freedom to explore each movement. As the movements are precise in each practice, challenging your body to extend itself shouldn’t be restricted by what you’re wearing.


For this purpose, we’d highly recommend trying our Yoga Band leggings! They are super comfortable and offer the perfect amount of coverage.


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