The American Yoga Association describes yoga as being built on exercise, breathing and meditation.
There's no denying yoga's popularity with over 100 recognized forms and a history that dates back more than 5,000 years.
One of the things about yoga that makes it so popular is that although it can be challenging, it needn't be strenuous, which makes it accessible to people at any level of fitness, from those who are trying to improve their health to those who are older and need a more gentle form of exercise.
Pilates, a form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s, is a mind-body exercise that utilizes a floor mat and/or a variety of special equipment to strengthen the body without adding bulk and to create long, lean muscles.
Similar to yoga, Pilates focuses on body awareness, good posture and gentle movements.
The Dailey Method
Jill Dailey McIntosh created the Dailey Method in 2000, when she combined ballet barre work, core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga and orthopedic exercises into a one-hour class. McIntosh merged her background in kinesiology, Pilates and dance and her interest in group exercise to create a new, rigorous and effective entity that grows more popular by the day.
Which is right for you?
If you've been fairly sedentary for any length of time, yoga is your best bet for easing back into the game. You'll be asked to tune in to your body, and you're less likely to strain anything as you work to improve your overall health.
If you've been working out on a semi-regular basis and want to try a complementary activity to help change the shape of your body, Pilates may be the best choice for you.
If you're looking for something that will aggressively challenge your body in new ways and push you toward a leaner, stronger shape, the Daily Method is definitely worth a try.
You really can't go wrong with any of these methods, as each tasks you with truly tuning in to your body and building a stronger mind-body connection.