It is common to hear people saying that Tai Chi is better than Pilates, but it all comes down to preference.
Tai Chi has an even more extended history compared to Pilates.
It is pretty ancient and primarily works with a meditative form of martial arts.
On the other hand, Pilates is mainly a form of physical routine for fitness.
There are differences between Tai Chi and Pilates.
Differences between Tai Chi and Pilates
For a start, Tai Chi originated in China, while Pilates routines came from Germany.
Tai Chi was invented sometime in the 12th century by Zhang Sanfeng, while Pilates was invented in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates.
With hundreds of years separating the two, they have evolved to be unique in several ways.
The basic modules for Tai Chi are only three.
These are health, meditation and martial arts too. Pilates has up to six basic modules.
They include concentration, control, flow, precision and breathing.
The primary purpose for Tai Chi is based on mental and physical oneness, relaxation, stress release, among others.
For Pilates, the purpose for this practice can be from physical and mental fitness.
Body balance to endurance, among others.
It is important to note that the core activity for Tai Chi is the different types of martial arts form, which is either soft or hard. Tai Chi has other forms such as Tai Chi Chih, Qigong and Wushu among others.
For Pilates, the core activity is mainly based on physical exercises.
Other forms include mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates being.
Tai Chi Pros vs Pilates
There are hundreds of benefits of Tai Chi, with even more still getting discovered.
Here are some pros:
• Decrease in stress, anxiety and even depression.
• It improves your mood drastically, especially if you are low mentally.
• Tai Chi improves your aerobic capacity.
• It increases energy and stamina as well the more you do it.
• Apart from improving flexibility, balance and agility, it also improves your muscle strength, helping you do more movements.
Tai Chi takes a lot of time to get to the master level from the time you are learning.
• In modern times, the Tai Chi form taught and practised is not original.
• It has now become more of a business to teach Tai Chi, so not all instructors are authentic, and the forms are taught.
• It is non-competitive, so many people can feel like it’s demotivating halfway through the learning process.
• In the beginning, Tai Chi can be pretty painful, especially if you have not been doing any exercise. The movements tend to be challenging to learn, which makes many people quit halfway through.
This disadvantage is not permanent since you can get used to the process, and with time, it gets natural to you.
• It can also be addictive and keep you from working on other essential things. It can get obsessive due to the sense of wholeness it gives to you.
• Pilates has numerous benefits that can improve your wellbeing and overall life with time.
Here are some of the advantages of practising Pilates.
• It improves posture and muscle tone.
• It also improves the balance and mobility of the joints.
• Relieves stress and tension.
• It also enhances whole-body strengths and flexibility.
• Some of the drawbacks of practising Pilates include:
• If you are into cardio, Pilates doesn’t count as part of it.
• It is not part of strength training, and if you don’t do it correctly, it might lead to injuries.
• The classes can be pretty expensive, and you may need more time to recover.
So which is better between Tai Chi and Pilates?
It is clear that both Tai Chi and Pilates have advantages that outweigh disadvantages, but you should consider all the details before deciding on the one to start with.
As long as you are willing to put in the time, you can start with either one.