Pilates V’s Yoga – What’s the difference
Written by: Monica
Category: General Health
Published on: November 30, 2020

People often ask what is the difference between Pilates and yoga. Is one better than the other?

Pilates is a more modern exercise method than yoga as it has been around since the end of the Second World War. It’s a very disciplined and structured type of exercise – much more so than yoga. Pilates is considered to be low impact and is aimed at stretching and strengthening the body. Dancers and now football players often use Pilates to improve their strength and flexibility.

Pilates can be either equipment based or mat-based. If you just want to keep things simple, you can do Pilates work on a mat, but using equipment takes things up a notch. Pilates equipment can bring resistance to your workouts, for example.

Health benefits of Pilates (1)

  • Improved flexibility
  • Better posture
  • Better balance
  • Less joint pain
  • Better endurance
  • Improved muscle strength

Some of the ailments that are eased by incorporating Pilates into your exercise routine are:

  • Arthritis
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Joint injuries
  • Back pain

Yoga, on the other hand, is thought to have its roots in India and has been practised for thousands of years. Essentially, it is a range of postures that are designed to make you more flexible and improve your muscle strength. Unlike Pilates, it tends to involve meditation and deep breathing.

Like Pilates, yoga is usually a low impact exercise, but power yoga can offer some cardio benefits and is on a par with walking at a brisk pace.

So what do yoga poses promise in the way of health and well-being?

  • A heightened sense of relaxation
  • Passive, but effective exercise
  • Positive thinking
  • Mind and body fitness
  • Increased flexibility
  • Better posture
  • Basic strength

Yoga for health is becoming widely known, especially for the illnesses and ailments it is known to help ease. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pain
  • Respiratory conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis

How to Choose Between Yoga vs Pilates

There are several different factors that you should be thinking about if you are deciding which is your preferred type of exercise – Pilates vs Yoga.

Source: https://blog.fabletics.com/2015/04/pilates-versus-yoga-choose/

As you can see, there are many similarities between Yoga and Pilates and they share some common benefits.

But there are also differences.

From a purely exercise perspective, these differences mainly have to do with how each discipline is practised and what their primary goals are.

In the end, the easiest way to decide whether Pilates or yoga is best for you is to have a go and try both! Try one class of each, and you will be able to see for yourself which one suits your needs and abilities better.

Both Pilates and yoga are very enjoyable ways to strengthen your muscles, get your body in better shape, relieve stress and gain more flexibility. Just a little thing to remember with pilates, it is best to source a pilates studio that tailors your program for you. Generic style pilates is mainly done on the mat NOT on reformers. 

Still not sure which one is best for you?

If you would like further guidance on which exercises may be appropriate, or are interested in a program tailored to your condition and abilities feel free to contact the Revitalize team on (03) 9016 3415.

(1) https://www.aipt.edu.au/articles/2018/07/pilates-vs-yoga

(2) http://www.energypilatesfitness.com/pilates-vs-yoga.html#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20main%20differences,numerous%20muscles%20of%20the%20body.

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