There are many exercises and physical therapies that can help you recover from an injury. However, for many mental and physical health benefits, yoga and Pilates really stand out and make a huge difference.
Pilates and its benefits
Pilates is a type of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century at the end of World War I. Its main purpose was to help wounded soldiers recover after the war. Pilates is an easy and very relaxing exercise that focuses on small movements of our bodies. This type of exercise requires the use of stabilising muscles of the back and core. It is important to remember that each practice should start with breathing exercises. This way we can initiate a contraction of the core muscles and begin with our exercise. Pilates can be done on a mat and the equipment which is very unique to Pilates such as springs and levers.
Among many benefits, Pilates can increase muscle strength and endurance and improve overall flexibility and posture. Also, Pilates can lead to better balance and decreased joint pain. Pilates especially has many benefits to those with conditions such as arthritis, urinary incontinence, respiratory conditions, joint injuries, and back pain.
The origins of yoga and how it was developed are unknown. However, we know it has been around for the past 3,000 years at least. Yoga is centered on five beliefs of proper relaxation, exercise, breathing, diet, and positive thinking and meditation. The key features of any yoga practice are mindfulness and deep breathing. Yoga offers many different types of exercises. However, the most common one relies on holding various poses and flowing through different body movements. Yoga is often described as a form of mind and body fitness because it combines the mind’s focus and physical activity to bring increased awareness to the breath and energy.
Yoga is known for its many benefits both for our physical and mental health. But other than being beneficial for our mental and physical health, yoga also has positive effects on serious medical issues such as anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, respiratory condition, high blood pressure, chronic pain, and type 2 Diabetes.
How Yoga and Pilates are similar
There are three main similarities between yoga and Pilates. Firstly, both of these exercises require only a mat and a few additional props and that makes them easy to do at home. Secondly, they both put a huge emphasis on breath control in order to maintain diaphragmatic breathing. Lastly, in both yoga and Pilates mental focus is the key element. This is how these exercises manage to relieve stress and anxiety.
Yoga vs. Pilates: Which is better?
Both Pilates and yoga are great exercises, but when it comes to choosing between the two it all comes down to your health condition and what suits your body. That is why consulting an instructor to see what works best for you is very important.
Yoga, on one hand, requires a lot of flexibility and mobility of the spine, wrists, and hips. Most poses can be modified and simplified, but if you have any severe limitations or pain, it would be challenging for you to follow exercises in advanced classes. However, the key is to find what works best for you. There are many different types of yoga such as restorative yoga, chair yoga, and so on.
Pilates, on the other hand, is one of the best exercises for older adults and especially to people who are recovering from injuries. Pilates offers many forms of exercises and the difference is just in the type of equipment that is used. Also, equipment-based Pilates is very similar to mat Pilates, the only difference is that it uses some added resistance.
Pilates and physical therapy
Physical therapists from all around the world suggest Pilates as a form of physical therapy as it is proven to be the best form of rehabilitation treatment alternative. Pilates does wonders when it comes to gaining core strength, good control, and posture. The best part is that Pilates can always be modified to suit your abilities and comfort. So, if you are looking for a relaxing physical therapy that will help you recover an injury, Pilates is one of the best workouts to go for.
Yoga and physical therapy
Lastly, yoga can be very helpful when used as a form of physical therapy as well. Physical therapists tend to use different yoga postures to evaluate for postural muscle imbalances and asymmetries. By doing specific yoga poses you will be able to find out which muscles are too weak, which muscles are too tight, and which muscles are compensating. Once the root of the problem has been found, specific exercises can be applied to help you recover from the injury. Poses such as bridge, single-leg bridge, chair pose, and tree pose are one of the most common and most beneficial yoga poses.
In conclusion, both Pilates and yoga are beneficial for our body and mind in many different ways. Just make sure to figure out what works best for your body.