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Pilates or yoga: Which is best for you?

yoga pilates

It doesn’t have to be either / or – Both is the ideal solution!

The number of people taking part in regular Pilates or yoga classes has risen considerably in the past few years.

With more celebrities openly declaring that these less strenuous forms of exercise have changed their lives, it seems that Pilates and yoga have suddenly become “cool”. This is not necessarily a bad thing, although it does mean that gyms are under increasing pressure to find quality personal trainers who are qualified in these areas.

Which would you choose? 

HFE – a leading UK-based provider of personal trainer and fitness instructor courses – has published an info graphic (see end of article) that highlights some of the differences between yoga and Pilates. As part of the project, the company conducted a poll to see which form of exercise is the most popular, and it was clear that Pilates came out on top.

Around 70 per cent of the respondents said they favoured Pilates, with a sizable proportion of this group suggesting that they found these classes to be “more dynamic” than yoga sessions. Something else that participants in the poll highlighted was the benefits that Pilates can bring to those who suffer from ailments such as lower back pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

HFE Managing Director, Lee Cain, explained that the apparent Pilates boom could possibly be linked with the increasing number of stressful and sedentary jobs that people are doing. He added that while the results of the survey showed a clear leaning towards Pilates, there’s no reason why people cannot partake in both forms of exercise.

The professionals are doing it

It’s not just uber-trendy Hollywood stars who have integrated Pilates or yoga into their daily workout routines.

A multitude of leading athletes and professional sports clubs have also embraced the concepts in recent years, adding further weight to their fitness boosting and injury preventing credentials. The fact that more physiotherapy clinics are instructing their patients to get involved in Pilates is another positive endorsement.

Pilates in particular is known to enhance core strength and improve flexibility, while yoga is also renowned for boosting mental wellbeing. According to the HFE poll, more than half of the respondents who preferred Pilates over yoga said that it enabled them to de-stress and tone up their muscles, and numerous people also stated that they felt like they’d done a “proper workout” after a Pilates session, making it a great option for those who are looking to find a class that combines muscle toning with some cardio.

Of course, there are numerous different forms of Pilates, so you should have no problem finding a class that suits your needs. As well as more demanding aerobic sessions, there are many non-aerobic classes that are tailored to help those who wish to improve their balance and muscle strength without overdoing things.

This explains why everybody from professional footballers to pregnant women are swearing by this type of workout in 2014.

Both Yoga and Pilates have great health benefits so the ideal solution is to do both or even take up Yogalates!

For more on Pilates courses see hfe.co.uk

For more on Yoga see our Yoga section or go to EkhartYoga.com

yoga or pilates infographic

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