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Pilates Vs Yoga: Find Out What Suits You

Updated on October 18, 2017

Yoga and Pilates are two different types of aerobic exercise that focus on matching movement to breathe. Both exercise routines work on strength, toning, flexibility, endurance and stress relief. In saying that, there are actually many differences between the two and before finding out which one will suit your lifestyle, capabilities and desires, it is best to endeavour into these differences and find out what each one is fundamentally about.


Yoga has been around for thousands of years and originated in South Asia. Traditionally used as a spiritual tool to connect mind, body and spirit; yoga is used worldwide as a mindful and stress-releasing exercise. It focuses predominately on balance, flexibility, endurance and broad muscle growth and uses deep breathing patterns for relaxation.

Yoga is made up of poses that are specifically designed for different needs and movement between these poses is fluid. Classes can range significantly from slow and gentle to fast, hard and sweaty depending on the level of fitness or for the individuals desired outcome. Although yoga can be challenging, it is considered to be a therapeutic form of exercise and when done properly and in the right environment it has been linked to the relief of anxiety and depression.

Pilates originated in the 1900’s in Europe and was designed for rehabilitation and strengthening. The practice focuses predominately on core strength and is a more structured workout when compared to Yoga. Pilates focuses more on a physical outcome rather than a spiritual one, so you are more likely to see an improvement in physical appearance much quicker than Yoga.

Pilates is a much more intense physical workout and requires a higher level of attention to detail. Breath is used to send energy to your muscles in an effort to keep them revived and pain free during your work out. Pilates follows the idea that each and every bodily movement is initiated from the core so the primary idea of Pilates is to build up strength within the core in order to have full alignment and control of the whole body.

In an effort to consider which practice is right for you, it is integral to work out what your overall goal is. If you are feeling the pressures of life creeping up on you and are feeling very stressed and uneasy, Yoga may be perfect for you. Yoga is an exercise that will send you on a spiritual journey and there is also more freedom in the practice leaving you without the constant pressure of attention to detail.

If you are looking for quick toning and strength from your practice with a notable physical change then Pilates may be the best practice for you. If you are still sitting on the fence about whether Pilates or Yoga would be best for you, why not try both? Pilates and Yoga compliment each other greatly and you can see the benefits of both a flexibility-based, stress free and mindful routine and a core strength building and physical results oriented routine.


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