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Slimming your muscles, reducing stress, improving flexibility, strengthening your core -- the benefits of yoga and Pilates, both of which focus on breathing and are accomplished at a slow pace, are so many that they can be easily confused. "But fundamentally these two exercises are completely unrelated." Says Rachel Brathen, an Aruban Yoga teacher and author of Yoga Girl. We're here to tell you the difference between yoga and Pilates in an easy-to-understand way.

What is yoga?

Yoga is a holistic practice originating in India where the body and mind are integrated through postures and breathing. "The practice of yoga is lifelong and goes far beyond a brief session on a yoga mat," Brathen said. "Better ethics and mindful personal observation can make everyday life a little more peaceful."

What is Pilates?

Pilates focuses on toning muscles and improving body control by working your core and coordination. "This system was pioneered by German anatomist Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s to strengthen, stretch and balance the body," "The big difference between Pilates and yoga is that Pilates challenges and supports the body using specially designed machines," says Amy Nelms, founder of New York City-based Flatiron Pilates Club. The most commonly used trainer is the reformer machine, which consists of a belt, spring and slide board.

Which exercise works better? Faster results?

Yoga and Pilates use muscle areas that are difficult to use in other forms of exercise. Even professional marathon runners can feel a physical energy drain after a Pilates or yoga session. With any kind of exercise, only practice more to get faster results, of course, the type of exercise is also important. Pilates is a targeted practice that uses correct posture to achieve desired results. "Coordination is the key to being good at Pilates, and the best way to do that is to have a one-on-one session with a professional instructor to make sure you're hitting the right spots with individual guidance." "Nelms said. With yoga, "you heal by working in small groups so that everyone's breathing and movement is as uniform as possible," Brathen explains.

Which exercise demands more attention from the brain?

Many poses in yoga practice require a high degree of concentration, to be in the "present moment" and to feel the state of meditation. "At the beginning of each yoga session, it is your intention to be in the same posture and breathing position as possible with those around you," Brathen says. As for Pilates, Nelms says, "Pilates is not traditionally a spiritual practice, but it does involve some meditative practices. Being good at Pilates also requires paying attention to your breath, focusing on and feeling your body to get the most out of the practice."

Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Pilates bed -- Which is right for you?

There are many types of yoga, but most of them are based on traditional yoga poses and are classified according to different physical needs. "If you want to relax and relieve stress, restorative exercises are great," Brathen says. "If you want more exercise and a lot of sweat, try vinyasa." And Pilates is not a huge variety. While a classic Pilates class combines mat and machine exercises at a slower pace, machine-specific pilates exercises are more strenuous. In the specific choice of a practice, according to their own physical condition, daily exercise state and want to achieve the effect to decide.

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