Yoga vs. Pilates- Can You Tell the Difference?

Pilates Stretching

Yoga and Pilates have plenty of similarities and differences, however, both of them are aimed at improving the overall well-being of individuals.  There are actually some instances when both Pilates and yoga can be used to complement each other.

The Similarities

Both activities focus on exercising the mind and body; in essence they are concerned with the improvement of mental alertness as well as agility.  The workouts in both cases are referred to as low impact because they are not as intense as other workouts. They are however just as effective as other exercises after consistent practice.  There is great emphasis on the muscles as well as the movement of the body. Posture is also a major component of both yoga and Pilates sessions.


The Differences

  • Yoga has a transcendental nature in that it facilitates great contemplation for those practicing it. The result of consolidating mental concentration, meditation, posture and intricate movements is an all round activity that helps reduce stress, while keeping one’s muscles toned. In contrast Pilates mainly focuses on strengthening of core muscles.
  • Yoga consists mainly of static poses, maintaining of various postures and transitioning to different positions. There is also the aspect of deep breathing and meditation involved in yoga practices.
  • During Yoga sessions it is not uncommon to have some meditative music playing in the background while Pilates sessions are often done in quiet surroundings without any form of musical accompaniment.
  • Yoga originated many of centuries ago and it has grown over the years in comparison to Pilates which is a relatively newer practice that originated in the 1800’s. Pilates is actually a combination of yoga, gymnastics and martial arts.
  • Yoga never requires any additional equipment however, Pilates sometimes requires specialized equipment which were developed by the founder of Pilates Joseph Pilates.

Yoga Stretching

In Conclusion

Although yoga and Pilates differ in principle they have plenty of similarities that make them relate to each other and sometimes people may confuse the two disciplines. At this point, you may be asking yourself this question, then, which of the two is better than the other?   Well the truth is that there is no definite answer to this question because both of them have their advantages as well as disadvantages. One may work better for you than the other and it is therefore up to individuals to decide for themselves which one they prefer. In many cases you will also find people who are able to comfortably practice both Pilates and yoga without any problems because both they can easily complement each other and lead to improvement of health and general well being.