Pilates and yoga are two popular forms of exercise, and each comes with its own set of benefits. At the same time, these exercises also complement each other, since the fundamental premise they both work on is different. More specifically, Pilates are a set of exercises that focus on rejuvenating the body (especially after an injury) and on building strength without putting on mass; yoga, on the other hand, combines meditation and stretching regimens to preserve body systems in their current state.

Another reason that both the forms can be seamlessly combined is that they focus on breathing and balance, two key elements of anti-aging. No surprise then, that we have seen the birth of new form of exercise (as early as 1977) that combines both these forms, and is known by the rather tacky name of ‘Yogalates’, where fat burning Pilate moves and other exercises are amalgamated with yoga practices that increase flexibility and concentration. With this in mind, here is a list of the combined benefits of Pilates and yoga:

1. De-stressing

Stress is one of the primary reasons for the increasing instances of lifestyle ailments, and though yoga and Pilates are both workouts that make you relax, there is a slight difference in the sense that yoga relaxes the mind, whereas Pilates relax the body. However, for the body to effectively de-stress in a wholesome manner, the relaxation of both the body and mind is essential, which can be achieved by combining the two forms.

2. Weight loss

Both yoga and Pilates are said to be effective at bringing about weight loss, but both also come with loopholes. With yoga, the loophole happens to be that the results are slow (since yoga is essentially a workout focused on preservation), while fat burning Pilate moves are criticized for being un-sustainable (i.e. you’re likely to put on weight if you stop the regimen). The solution then, is combining the two workouts, which will ensure that you now only lose weight, but do so for the long-term. (Note: Yogalates are especially beneficial for women trying to lose weight post-pregnancy).

3. Improved balance

When we speak about an improvement in balance, we also automatically include an improvement in body posture, which both yoga and Pilates are adept at providing. However, when combined, yogalates prove doubly beneficial, since yoga supplements the Pilate workout for the body with increased control on the nervous system, while the Pilates themselves activate both hemispheres of the brain.

4. Controlled strength

While body strength is a very important part of physical fitness, there are certain thought schools that believe that an increase in physical strength also leads to a corresponding increase in aggression due to certain hormones getting activated. Thus, while Pilates offer the strength element, yoga offers the control element since it relies on the premise of bringing a body in harmony with its surroundings.

5. Better focus area, with long term gains

While yoga works on whole body systems (like circulatory, nervous, digestive, etc.), Pilates work on individual body parts (abs, hips, etc.). As a result, yoga is difficult to design such that only one body part is the focus area. At the same time, sticking to yoga is a long term investment, while the effect of Pilates is comparatively short-lived. Thus, when you combine Pilates and yoga, you can focus on a specific body part, while still reaping the long term benefits.