The Difference between Pilates & Yoga Blog
Written by Louise Helmer

Pilates? Isn’t that the same as Yoga? What’s the difference between Yoga and Pilates?

Most people when they hear the word Yoga, even if they have never participated in a Yoga practice or class, have some idea of what Yoga is about, it’s been around for over 5,000 years! When people hear the word Pilates, most people comment “isn’t that the same as Yoga?” Pilates is more new age, almost a century old and originally used for physical rehabilitation.

So what are the differences between Yoga and Pilates? One of the major differences between Yoga and Pilates is that Yoga is more of a spiritual/meditative practice, whereas Pilates is more of a traditional exercise routine, used often as a rehabilitative tool. Pilates does have concentration as one of its principles, but focus is on strengthening the core, improving posture, stabilizing and elongating the spine and developing balance and strength in the body.

Another difference between Yoga and Pilates is the use of equipment, mostly the Pilates Reformer. Both work the body in effective ways, but Pilates incorporates the use of machines that use varying spring resistance and pulley systems to assist the body with alignment, thereby improving strength and helping to find balance in the body. Both Yoga and Pilates use a mat, but Yoga uses only minor equipment, a block or strap, to aid in poses. Read more about Pilates Mat at Bodylines.

Pilates consists of fewer repetitions with a focus on precision and control, whereas Yoga poses are held and a flow is repeated multiple times. Another difference between Yoga and Pilates is that the breath in Yoga is used for relaxation, whereas the breath in Pilates is used to energize the muscles.

So regardless of the differences between Yoga and Pilates, both have many advantages — Yoga helps to bring your focus inward and Pilates brings your focus to the physical body. A great combination!