A commonly ingrained concept about Yoga is that asanas, or its fundamental exercises, are stretches. „-I have signed up for Yoga. -And what is that? What are you doing? -A kind of stretching, something soft”. Asanas, more than stretching, are postures. So get your single serve blender, yoga mat, and headphones ready because we are about to dive into the differences between them!
Differences Between Stretching And Yoga
Besides the common stretching and yoga benefits we must also be very clear about the different approaches we must have when practicing.
Yoga is a system used to balance the body, mind, and spirit. It is a spiritual and practical discipline that seeks the union of the physical, mental and spiritual being and to combat stress.
Pilates however is a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body with the help of breathing.
Yoga is considered to be over 4,000 years old, that is, before the Vedas, the oldest books of humanity. Although some point out that it originated in what is today India more than 5,000 years ago.
Pilates is a modern discipline created at the beginning of the 20th century by the German Joseph Hubertus Pilates, who combined his knowledge in different specialties (such as gymnastics, traumatology, ballet, and yoga), with work on mind control, breathing, and relaxation.
Although both techniques seek physical improvement through body movements, the difference between yoga and stretching is that Pilates seeks to strengthen muscle tone and strength, while yoga seeks to seek mental and physical relaxation and increase flexibility through different postures.
In Pilates, the exercises are much more intense and faster and are performed with the body in motion. While yoga is done through more static postures, slow movements, simulating figures, and at the rhythm that our breathing marks.
The centers where Pilates is practiced almost always have specific equipment. Normally specific machines are used for their practice, although it can be done on a mat or with a balance ball. Yoga requires a mat and certain accessories, such as wooden blocks, blankets, or yoga balls, but they do not require machinery, so it can be practiced anywhere.
What Is The Best For Me, Yoga or Pilates class?
Now that we have established what is the difference between stretching and yoga let’s go a little bit deeper. If you have come this far and you are asking yourself that question, the answer is very simple: it will depend on what your goals are and what benefits you want to achieve, but remember that you don’t have to choose just one, in fact, the ideal would be to combine yoga and Pilates.
Both disciplines complement each other very well and with a good daily schedule, you can take advantage of the best of each to improve your flexibility, muscle tone, breathing, and, in general, your body. Anyway, if you are looking to enhance your more spiritual side, we recommend that you opt for yoga. On the other hand, if you prefer to do more physical activity, Pilates would be the best option.
Mental and physical benefits of practicing yoga and Pilates
We already know that both yoga and stretching exercises require good concentration and mainly base their technique on the control of breathing, which provides extensive health benefits. This allows us, for example, to reduce stress, regulate sleep, improve mood and reduce symptoms of fatigue. But in addition to the mental benefits, practicing Pilates or yoga helps us to develop our physical part by improving flexibility, elasticity, balance, and posture.
Keep in mind that neither Pilates or yoga are aerobic exercises, so you should complement your routine with other cardiovascular activities such as swimming, running, or cycling. Choosing the yoga path focused on doing various stretching postures and balancing is a good method of beginning your journey.
Now that you know more about yoga and stretching for beginners, it is time to put it into practice, always following the guidelines and recommendations of a specialized teacher. Pilates or yoga for stretching and flexibility? Which one do you choose?
If you like the two equally and go with your lifestyle, you do not have to leave either side. In fact, both disciplines work very well together, maybe more than you think, and combining them is a success.
Those who love the benefits that yoga and Pilates bring both physically and mentally, surely will not be able to resist their union. Therefore make sure you scour the internet for the best positions you could start with and start your adventure. What other differences between stretching and yoga should we add to the list? What are your favorite stretching and yoga exercises?
Hey everyone, it’s Coach Alisa Weaver 🙂
Teaching and coaching is my passion and career choice. I find great satisfaction to see others achieve their goals, whether it is recovery from injury or surgery, strengthening the body for competition, or just becoming fit.
I think that anyone can improve their fitness level no matter what their physical condition may be. By pushing yourself, discipline, not giving up together we can make your goals happen.