Menu Close


Contact us today to learn more about Ventana by Buckner

Yoga vs. Pilates for Seniors

People figuring out which class they like better between yoga vs. Pilates

Physical activity has been widely proven to have a lot of health benefits for older adults. But when you’re staying active in retirement, where should you start? Two types of activities that have gained popularity in recent years are Pilates and yoga. However, most are probably not familiar with the differences between yoga vs. Pilates.

If you’re staying active in retirement and looking to try yoga or Pilates, call 214.225.6197 to speak with someone from Ventana’s caring and compassionate staff about our senior care options and our VentanaFit program in Dallas, Texas.

What Is Yoga?

The practice of yoga started approximately 3,000 years ago in ancient India as a holistic discipline to unite the mind, body, and spirit. It involves five principles:

  • Proper relaxation
  • Exercise
  • Breathing
  • Diet
  • Positive thinking and meditation

The focus and concentration required in some yoga postures combine physical activity and mindfulness to keep you very focused in the moment and quiet the distractions of the day. Yoga can also incorporate elements of philosophy, science, and an ethical way of living.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can be recommended for increasing strength and improving flexibility through your muscles and joints and has been shown to have positive benefits, including:

  • Improved balance, strength, and flexibility
  • Back pain relief
  • Easing of arthritis symptoms
  • Improved heart health
  • Boosting energy and brightening mood
  • Managing stress

In the millennia since it was first introduced, many different styles of yoga have developed, including Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, and restorative yoga.

Yoga for Seniors

For seniors, yoga is often called chair yoga, and it’s a great introduction to yoga for those who are new to physical activity or have limited mobility. Chair yoga can be done seated or standing with the help of a chair, so it’s perfect for people of all ages and abilities. The poses used in yoga classes focus on stretching, breathing, relaxation techniques, and yoga postures to increase flexibility and strength.

What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a specific physical system devised by German anatomist Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. It uses targeted exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and posture, focusing on increasing your core strength.

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is a practice that requires small movements focusing on various areas of the body and must be done regularly to provide benefits. Practicing Pilates exercises may:

  • Boost muscle strength and endurance
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve balance and posture
  • Results in decreased joint pain

Pilates can be done on a mat or using specialized equipment of springs, levers, and your body weight to provide resistance.

Pilates for Seniors

Pilates is a great way to stay active in retirement and can be adapted for seniors with limited mobility. Pilates classes taught by certified instructors use props such as yoga blocks, chairs, and straps to help balance and stability. Each course focuses on different parts of your body while emphasizing core strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination.

Yoga vs. Pilates: Similarities

When it comes to yoga vs. Pilates for seniors, they can actually work together. Strengthening your core in your Pilates classes will give you better balance in yoga. Increasing your flexibility in yoga classes will allow you to move bigger and deeper in Pilates. Yoga and Pilates also have these things in common:

  • Mat Pilates, like yoga, can be done with little equipment. However, there are types of Pilates that require specialized equipment.
  • They focus on using the breath properly during exercise and emphasize breathing deep into the belly. These breathing techniques can help to combat feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Both require mental focus and can help reduce stress.
  • Each can also be tailored to different fitness levels.
  • Both can increase your range of motion and functional movement.
  • Each engages your core muscles for better control and stability, which can help reduce the risk of falling.

For seniors, yoga and Pilates can both have excellent health benefits. These popular activities offer a comprehensive approach to physical fitness and mental well-being, from improved balance to increased strength.

Find Help for Staying Active in Retirement at Ventana

At Ventana by Buckner, you don’t have to choose between yoga vs. Pilates for seniors. We have yoga and Pilates instructors who host weekly classes as part of our member programs. We’ve also partnered with Cooper Aerobics to offer you VentanaFit, our senior wellness program that combines the latest research in the exercise science industry with proven techniques to help you live the healthiest lifestyle possible. Contact Ventana today at 214.225.6197 to learn more.