Pilates vs Yoga: Which is Best for Your Body Type?

There is not a doubt that both Pilates and Yoga are of great benefit to your overall health and well-being. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reports that “Pilates and yoga help recruit health-promoting behaviors in participants and engender positive beliefs about their subjective health status, thereby setting a positive reinforcement cycle in motion….” It also provides “clear evidence that the promotion of Pilates or yoga can serve as an effective intervention strategy that helps individuals change behaviors adverse to their health.” 

While many believe that Pilates and Yoga are similar, which in some ways they are, as they are both low-impact exercises, the truth is they are actually very different. It is, thus, essential to understand the differences between yoga and Pilates before discussing which exercise is better for your body type. 

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a centuries-old spiritual discipline with roots in India. It combines physical postures (asanas) with breathing exercises to stay in shape (pranayama). Yoga is frequently referred to as meditative movement because it contains some mindfulness-based components.

What is Pilates? 

Joseph Pilates created the Pilates body training method around the beginning of the 20th century. Pilates is based on a number of guiding principles, including concentration on each action, the utilization of the muscles in the low back and belly, fluid and precise movement patterns, and steady, controlled breathing. Pilates exercises can be done on mats, blankets, or bed-like structures called reformers.

Yoga vs. Pilates: What are the Differences? 

As a beginner, it is generally normal to confuse yoga and Pilates. Nonetheless, to differentiate the two, remember that during a yoga session, you usually take up a position and hold it or flow into another position. In Pilates, you assume a pose and then work your arms or legs to stress your core. In other words, Pilates places a greater emphasis on the movements that help us work the core. However, in yoga, the focus is on good posture and alignment. Yoga incorporates a wider variety of movements and emphasizes developing core strength.

There are many items used for different Pilates exercises, ranging from little weights to bands and blocks to the “magic circle,” a ring-shaped piece of equipment that delivers a level of resistance for specific exercises. On the other hand, besides the regular mat and yoga blocks, very little equipment is required for yoga. Moreover, one notable distinction is the reformer’s use and other tools. While rarely utilized, other tools like yoga straps are used significantly less frequently than Pilates.

Both strategies result in increased balance, flexibility, and strength and target the core. Here is a run-down of the benefits: 

Benefits of Yoga: 

  • Reduce neck and lower back pain 
  • Improve balance
  • Improves sleep 
  • Reduces stress and ailments brought on by stress, such as tension headaches
  • Reduce knee osteoarthritis discomfort
  • Assist in weight loss
  • Reduce some menopausal symptoms

Benefits of Pilates:

  • Strengthen your core to increase stability
  • Boost your posture
  • Expand your flexibility
  • Alleviate lower back pain
  • Aid with weight management

Which one is Best for my Body Type?

Choosing if yoga or Pilates is more appropriate for you can be challenging. Pilates might be a better option if you want to improve your strength and flexibility. Yoga could be a good option if you wish to increase your general wellness. However, a lot relies on the specific programs you have access to and the expertise and credentials of the instructors. 
That being said, why would you have to choose if you can benefit from both? Yield the benefits of both Yoga and Pilates with non-other than NuYu!

NuYu, an all-ladies premium gym in KSA, offers you an exemplary experience in Yoga and Pilates with renowned coaches and instructors.