Yoga & Pilates - what's the difference between the two?

When I tell people I teach Pilates, the response I often get is ‘Oh is that like Yoga??…well not really…so here are my thoughts on the differences...and some similarities of the two methods.

Now this isn’t a debate about which is better….both Yoga and Pilates are amazing forms of exercise and I can see why they are often lumped together as the same thing…

  • They are both low impact workouts

  • Both methods focus on using mainly bodyweight as resistance

  • Both have a history to them and have evolved over the years, taught in various different forms today.

  • Both are beneficial for the body and the mind

So what are the differences?


Pilates focusses on repetitions of movements….movements that require a huge amount of core strength and control. With an emphasis on building endurance in the muscles, Pilates works to stabilise the major joints in your body. Building strength in the muscles that support your trunk (deep abdominals, rectus abdominis or what you see as your Abs, glutes, erector spinae and multifidus) it can build a core strength like nothing else can. This will bring better alignment and posture and serve you well away from the mat as well as on it. You’ll see any muscle imbalances and can work to correct them and gain a greater awareness of your body and how its moves.

And Yoga…

Yoga I feel is a mind-body method with a more spiritual history than Pilates. Holding postures, then working with breath and flowing movement, linking one posture to the next. Yoga in particular is always called out to not only address physical fitness but also be beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing. A huge focus on flexibility, balance and increased ROM also play a big part in yoga practice. I also believe Yoga to be a lifestyle…not just something practiced on the mat but when you are into it, it seems like it becomes a way of life…

The good news is….

Practice either on a regular basis and you’ll create lean muscle, improve your posture generally, build inner strength, improve your spine health and take away the stresses of life…and they are both are available in our on demand libraries for you to try.


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