Pilates vs Yoga

By   December 4, 2014

yogaMost people think that yoga and Pilates are just the same type of exercises. There are similarities in practice that may contribute to people confusing these two but there are also major differences that set Yoga vs Pilates. There are many different forms of these two exercises and it might be hard to tell them apart. So that you know what kind of exercise is best for you, the differences of these two exercises are elaborated in his article.

Yoga vs Pilates Origin

Yoga practices came from India many years ago. It is an ancient practice in India that has evolved through the centuries and different cultures that picked it up. Some of the different types of yoga include Kripalu, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Bikram.

Pilates, on the other hand, is relatively new. It began in the middle of the 20th century and was started by Joseph Pilates, an athlete. Pilates created the routines for the purpose of rehabilitation and strengthening.  On the other hand, dance made Pilates popular among women and dancers alike. They modified the routines and utilized Pilates to make their legs stronger during training and performances.

The Mind Body And Spirit

Yoga and Pilates both bring people to an understanding that both body and mind connect. Yoga, however, is a spiritual practice and it is an element that Pilates is lacking. Spirituality is a great part of practicing yoga. Without spirituality, yoga is as good as nothing. Pilates always focuses on making people understand that they can achieve strengths with the use of the mind for everyday use. Yoga is more on exploring one’s inner self and spirituality.

The Class

Yoga classes are more often than not, flexible when it comes to routine. Sequences and poses may have variations or combinations depending on the person who is teaching the class. It is also depending on the type of yoga that the students are practicing as well as the teacher who is instructing them. There are types of yoga that require more flexibility while others are done lying done or focusing on meditation and relaxation. Yoga practices always include chanting and meditation that makes sure to seal in the benefits that the practice gives you and to really soak in the energy of the practice.

Pilates classes are always structured and planned. The reason behind this is because students need to expect what to do when they walk into the class. They do not have different types of sequences nor variations but practice the same types of exercises but routines may differ as well as combinations. They also use materials like a Pilates ball for their workouts.

The Workout

Both practices will give you flexibility and strength. Classes with Pilates offer you a total workout with the body and strengthening your core. The exercises done in Pilates classes are more often than not composed of well-organized movements to make sure you strengthen your spine and core. Some classes are done individually and utilizes machines to gain even more strength but more relaxed classes is done on a mat and movements of the body.

During a yoga class, All muscles in the body are engaged and equally working. Each position comes with a balancing pose to make sure that you work on balancing your body as well as strengthening. Core strength is also important in yoga but it is not the entire focus but just a part of the sequence.

Breathing Techniques

Yoga vs Pilates differ most in breathing exercises. Yoga, on the other hand, uses breath on a more spiritual and deeper level. Flow based yoga are energetic and there is a certain type of breathing exercise that is used with it called ujjayi breathing. This requires breathing in and out through the nose while moving and doing the poses and balancing as well. Paranayama is a part of a yoga class where you will focus on your breathing.

In Pilates classes, students inhale through their nose and exhale through their mouth.

After reading the differences of yoga vsPilates in this article, you now have a rough idea on what to expect in the class that you are wanting to attend. Simply put, if you want a spiritual experience while strengthening and balancing, yoga is the best way to go. Pilates also offers the same benefits, yoga helps you with your focus and really affects the way that you feel afterwards. If you are used to using machines and devices while working out and is also keen on dancing and memorizing steps, Pilates will be better and fruitful for you.


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