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What is the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates

May 28th 2017

Yoga and pilates can be an excellent way to boost one's health, improve flexibility and work on one's cardiovascular health. While both these exercises are very popular, it can be difficult to know the differences between these exercise programs. The following guide explores the key differences between yoga and pilates.

Pilates is a series of cardiovascular exercises that can boost improve muscle tone, heart health, and can help one reduce his or her weight. Yoga is a combination of stretching exercises, specialized poses and meditation. While yoga does offer some cardiovascular elements, it's usually less intense than a pilates class. However, yoga can still be very intense. Some advanced yoga poses can be an excellent way to build muscle mass and improve flexibility.

The equipment used for yoga and pilates is often the same. An extra thick yoga mat is often the same as a pilates mat. While some people may use power resistance bands or a deluxe yoga bolster, many beginners can get by in both types of classes with just a basic classic mat.

There are some modern classes that offer a fusion of both yoga and pilates. With fusion classes, it's possible to experience the strength-training and cardiovascular benefits of pilates and the flexibility benefits of yoga.

Yoga is a significantly older practice than pilates. Many elements for yoga were incorporated into the modern version of pilates. For example, sun salutations are often found in a pilates class. While these were originally a part of yoga, they have been adapted for use in pilates classes across the world.

Sun salutations are a series of body positions that can help build back muscles, improve posture and reduce muscle tension. Sun salutations usually consist of positions known as upward dog, downward dog and push-up position. Each of these poses put stress on a different muscle group in the body. This helps ensure that one is receiving a good physical workout at all times.

Pilates also has elements of yoga poses known as warrior one and warrior two. Warrior one is a yoga pose that puts tension on the leg muscles. It is often used by cyclists to stretch before a long ride. In addition, it helps promote proper back posture and can help improve lung capacity. Pilates often incorporates elements of these poses as part of a practice.

Yoga and pilates have many similarities. While pilates stresses a harder cardiovascular workout, yoga often can help one enhance his or her flexibility.