Yoga vs. Pilates: Which is Better?

Yoga and Pilates have become very popular in recent years for the health, mental and spiritual benefits they offer.  Here is a list of the different types of yoga and pilates that are practiced so you can decide which ones suits your lifestyle best.


Types of yoga:


Vinyasa:  Focuses on breath-synchronized movements.  It’s a vigorous style based on a series of poses called "Sun Salutations."


Hatha:  This type encompasses many of the physical types of yoga, and is slow and gentle.


Ashtanga/Power Yoga:  It means “eight limbs” in Sanskrit.  It’s fast paced and intense, based on repeating a series of poses always in the same order.  Some Power Yoga classes might not follow strictly to the Ashtanga poses.


Kundalini:  It is based on breath in conjunction with movements.  It focuses on freeing energy in the lower body and allowing it move up.


Lyengar:  It’s all about body alignment.  It requires holding poses over a long period of time, and uses many ‘soft props,’ like blankets, blocks and straps.


Viniyoga:  This type is a more personalized yoga program, designed specifically based on your health, age and physical condition.


Bekram/ Hot Yoga:  This is practiced in a room at 95-100 degrees.  This allows your muscles to loosen, and your body to sweat and cleanse itself.


Jivamutki:  This involves chanting, spiritual teaching and meditation.  It is physically intense.


Anusara:  This method is a combination of physical alignment with a positive philosophy from Tantra.  Poses open the heart physically and mentally.  Props are used.


Yin Yoga:  Poses are held for several minutes, focusing on stretching connective tissue instead of muscle.


Forrest:  This has vigorous Asana sequences to strengthen and purify the body.  It is intense, with emphasis on abdominal movements and deep breathing.


Sivananda:  Consists of 12 poses in particular: breathing, relaxation, positive thinking and meditation.


Kripalu:  Includes meditation, physical healing and spiritual transformation.


Integral:  It’s a gentle Hatha practice.  It focuses on breathing, kriyas, meditation and chanting.


Restorative:  Props are used and you hold poses longer.


Moksha:  It consists of a series of 40 poses in a hot room.


Types of Pilates:


Fletcher Pilates:  It includes all levels of mat and work on the Pilates apparatus.  This type is physically intense, focusing on the correct technique of each movement.


Stott Pilates:  This incorporates modern exercise principles, including spinal rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement.


Power Pilates:  This type focuses on more than 500 controlled and precise movements that will stretch and strengthen muscles.


Winsor Pilates:  This focuses on trimming and shaping the body.  Do “dynamic sequencing” where you do a combination of exercises in a specific order, and rhythm for maximum results.


After reading each type of yoga and pilates, you can decide which one is right for you.  You can do a combination of both, or focus on one specific type of yoga or pilates until you become an expert! 


Look at your local gyms and yoga studios to see what kind of classes they offer, and get started on a healthier and more active lifestyle.  Bring your friends along for support, especially when it’s your first time, and you are sure to have a blast!

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