“What’s better... yoga or Pilates?”
This is a question I get asked all the time by clients. The answer would depend on what you are looking for. For most of my clients, people who are recovering from some sort of persistent ache or pain or injury, it’s almost always Pilates (if they had to choose only one).
They are both great, but here’s why, as a Physical Therapist, I prefer Pilates and how I describe the difference to my clients...
Generally speaking, yoga is much more about holding positions to increase flexibility. In yoga there isn't a large focus on strength or stability. This is great if your muscles are tight or if you carry a lot of stress and tension. But with that in mind, remember that there is always a reason why we feel like we always need to stretch... muscles don’t just get tight for no reason. And with my clients, we work together to find the true cause - the real reason why their low back or hips keep getting tight over and over again - so that together we can get to the deeper root of the problem and get rid of that constant need to stretch.
In contrast, Pilates is all about improving our posture alignment while finding and building strength and stability through all the ranges of movement. And as a result, it actually improves flexibility while also giving you that long, lean, and toned body. Pilates builds core strength from the inside out and teaches us how to move our bodies on a solid foundation, thus making our movements stronger and more efficient. The more stable we are, the more protected we are from future injuries.
And that’s the magic... when every movement is most efficient, we reduce the stress being placed on our joints (caused by muscle imbalances and misalignments) which not only helps us recover from injury but also is the best way to prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
Yoga = flexibility.
Pilates = posture and core strength (and injury prevention).
And if you combine Pilates with physical therapy? Talk about a recipe for success and everlasting relief from those aches and pains you can’t seem to get rid of.
I do love yoga, don’t get me wrong. It has so many amazing benefits. However, if you practice yoga too much and become too flexible, it could have some negative consequences on your health and lead you to injury. A common injury I see a lot in yogis is SI pain or back pain. Why?Because yogis are extremely flexible, but their bodies don’t know how to support all that movement. This extreme flexibility does not allow for our movements to be very efficient, stable, or strong. All that energy is lost and it ends up putting more stress on certain joints.
So if you're interested in long lasting injury prevention and strength, and if you want to fix the root cause of your tight spots (not just the symptom), consider Pilates. At Empower, we want to make sure you are confident in your choice. So if you're interested in trying Pilates but still have a few questions, try us out first - for free!
Apply for a free 30 minute Pilates taster with one of our experts right now.
We can't wait to get you started toward your goal of feeling young forever!
Empower PT & Pilates
We help you find a LASTING SOLUTION to back, hip, and pelvic issues so you can age with ease -without having to rely on painkillers, injections, or surgery!
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