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Yoga Vs. Pilates - Benefit Differences

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By Author: wesellgyms
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These many different varieties of yoga and Pilates studios available for those individuals who are looking for a complementary fitness program to go along with their traditional gym sessions. For those athletes, be it professional or even just a weekend warrior, who think that they are healthy and fit, a 50-60 minute yoga or Pilates class can make you second guess yourself. While both forms of exercise target similar muscle groups, they focus on ones that don’t necessarily get worked out during a normal training session. With the increased awareness of the impact that both yoga and Pilates can have on improving your physical and mental health and wellness, more and more training facilities are opening up around the world. WeSellGyms.com offers a full in-depth look at franchise and ownership opportunities for a wide variety of different yoga and Pilates studios for potential owners.

So, what’s the difference between the two? Well, to some people, they seem to be the same, but in fact, they are very much different. In the most general terms, yoga helps to improve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health through meditative breathing and stretching forms that both release and bring energy to the body. Pilates, on the other hand, focuses on strengthening the core, improving balance and stability and increasing overall strength. Most traditional forms of yoga focus on connecting the mind and the body and therefore will incorporate minimal equipment such as mats, blocks and straps, whereas Pilates will add in hand weights, springboards, fitness balls, bands etc. While some believe that yoga focuses more on the entire body, whereas Pilates focuses on the major muscle area, there are still a number of similarities between the two forms of exercise. One of the best ways to decide as to which form of exercise is best for you is to define your fitness goals. Is the intent to rehab an injury or to tone muscle groups? Are you looking to increase your flexibility or build strength? Are you focusing on your mind or your body?

Similarities:

Equipment: Yes, there are forms of Pilates that involve equipment, but mat classes, which was Joseph Pilates original form of the exercise, as with yoga are kept to using just your body weight for resistance and balance. Both traditional forms of exercise can be done anywhere, at home, a studio or outdoors.

Strength / Flexibility – While Pilates exercises are usually more intense and move at a quicker pace, both forms, especially at the advanced levels require a strong core in order to execute the movements or poses properly. Yoga is more often used to gradually improve flexibility throughout the body, whereas Pilates strengthens many of the small muscle groups throughout the body. However, in order to achieve success in either class, both flexibility and strength are needed.

Poses/Exercises – Boat pose vs. teaser. Cobra vs. swan. Chaturanga vs. push-up. Plank. The names may change, but the exercises and movements are essentially the same in both classes. While there may be some slight alterations in terms of the degrees in which your body sits/lays or the duration in which you hold a pose, there are a number of similarities between the two styles of exercise.

De-stressing – Exercise in any form has been proven to help release endorphins, which in turn helps with the relaxation of the body and mind. Calm stretching, compressing muscles and smooth breathing patterns help to relieve the body of daily stresses.

Differences:

Breathing – As with any form of exercise, proper breathing form is very important. The timing and patterns are different in yoga and Pilates. Yoga breathing comes from your belly and is done with a rhythmic and meditative flow. Many yoga forms use a similar technique of inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Considering that relaxation is one of the keys to yoga, proper controlled breathing is vital. Pilates on the other hand focuses on “lateral breathing” in which you keep the abdominal and core muscles activated while breathing deeply through various forms and tempos of movement. Most Pilates practices target inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.

Spirituality and Focus – Some forms of yoga involve chanting or “om” in order to help channel yourself into the moment, calming the mind, providing a spiritual cleanse and clearing your body of all stresses. Pilates can offer the same stress release but may not provide the same calming feel.

Movements – Yoga poses provide a focus on improving balance, flexibility and coordination through slow and methodical movements. Pilates workouts are a more structured series of low impact exercises that initiate movement from the core.

Exercise Principles – Pilates requires individuals to focus on six main principles; breathing, control, concentration, centering. flow and precision. Yoga on the other hand focuses on; proper breathing techniques, diet, exercise, relaxation and positive thinking/meditation.

While your lifestyle and schedule may only allow you to commit to one regular exercise program, the benefits of adding one of or both yoga and Pilates to your regular workout routine can provide an ideal mixture of physical, mental and spiritual exercises that you may need in order to complete your goal of bettering your overall health and wellness. If you are interested in exploring the lifestyle benefits of owning a gym/fitness franchise contact us at: www.WeSellGyms.com

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