As two of the most popular modern workout regimens, yoga and pilates have quite interesting and varied pasts, one with a 5,000 year history in Southeast Asia, and the other a globe-trotting European-based practice. But which is better in the long run? This is a head-to-head battle of stretching vs. strength!
Meet The CompetitorsYoga is an ancient technique intended to unite body and mind through stretching, strength moves, breathing, and meditation. But what makes it more than just a good workout is the yogalifestyle— embracing values like tolerance and abstinence from violence, lying, and stealing. Modern yoga practices are based on the teachings of thousands of years of instruction, but Westerners typically practice variations of Hatha Yoga, combining yoga postures (asanas) with specific breathing techniques (pranayama). If yoga is the wise older practice, Pilates is its hip younger sibling. Currently a favorite of the rich and famous, this method was actually developed in the early 1900s by Joseph Pilates to help rehabilitate World War I soldiers. Pilates is generally split into two categories— mat exercises, and those using a Pilates machine (sometimes called a Pilates table, or the “Pilates Reformer”). The routines combine low-impact flexibility and core strengthening exercises utilizing body weight and calisthenic training.