It’s a common misconception that yoga and pilates are just two names for essentially the same thing. This isn’t the case – while it’s true they share similarities, they’re different practices with different focuses.
First, we’ll explain the similarities
Yoga and pilates are both forms of exercise which focus on strength and stability. They also both incorporate an element of mindfulness which helps you perform slow, controlled movements which help you build good posture.
They’re both suitable for all ages and just about everyone can benefit from both yoga and pilates.
Now, the differences
Yoga is focused more on the holistic mind, body and spirit connection to movement. Yoga involves rhythmic breathing and the holding still of poses.
Pilates has a focus on building the core muscles with strength training and keeping the spine in alignment for optimum posture.
Read on to find out more about both yoga and pilates.
In western practice, yoga isn’t considered religious so much as spiritual in a personal sense. Yoga is about finding a holistic balance in your mind, body and spirit.
Breathing is a key element in yoga practice. Each yoga session is underpinned by yogic breathing (or ‘pranayama’), which is when the person synchronises their breath with the flowing movements of the yoga poses.
Yoga is considered meditative, as the mind is focused on controlled movements and the harmonising of the breath.Much like cycling or power-walking, yoga also counts as a cardiovascular workout. This means yoga helps burn calories, contributes to general health and helps avoid cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes.3
You don’t typically need any equipment to perform yoga, just a mat.Sub-types of yoga include:4
Pilates is recommended for helping to prevent spinal or muscular injuries, as it strengthens the muscles which support the spine and improves posture.Under the guidance of a medical professional, pilates is also great for rehabilitation following injury and is believed to improve muscle tone, joint mobility and overall balance.9
Not sure which is a better choice, yoga or pilates?
We suggest yoga if you:
We suggest pilates if you:
Last updated: 15 October 2020