Pilates vs Yoga

1st November 2017

Pilates vs Yoga
Many people struggle to tell the difference between Pilates and yoga. They are both low-impact workouts that focus on using bodyweight resistance, however, have multiple differences separating them from one another.

The Connection Between Mind, Body and Spirit

Pilates focuses on establishing an understanding that there is a connection between the mind and body, before furthering this knowledge to perform Pilates exercises that help with every day life and mobility.

Yoga adds a spiritual element to this connection. Exploring spirituality is a large part of practising yoga, especially through meditation and various breathing exercises.


Pilates focuses on physical conditioning, using resistance and weights to build up strength. This works all of the muscle groups, and results in a stronger and more streamlined body.

Whilst yoga does build endurance in every large muscle group by using the bodies own weight as a form of resistance, strength is not the main focus.


Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to improve flexibility and increase the range of joint motion. Research from the University of Wisconsin revealed that after just 8 weeks of practising yoga, flexibility had improved by 13-35%.

Pilates adopts a different approach to yoga, improving flexibility in problem areas, by identifying the reason for muscles being tight and attempting to resolve the problem.

Pilates Classes vs Yoga Classes

Every class and instructor will be different, but there are some distinct differences between general Pilates and yoga classes.

Pilates classes are generally more structured, with set exercises and a plan for each class that you will likely be made aware of in advance. The two most popular types of class are mat Pilates and reformer Pilates.

Yoga classes tend to be more flexible, with thousands of possible pose variations and the potential added element of meditation.

Health Benefits

Pilates focuses on the core, dealing with back pain by supporting and strengthening the back. There has been evidence to suggest that Pilates may be beneficial for people who suffer from ailments such as arthritis, respitory conditions and fibromyalgia.

Whilst yoga does aid in alleving a range of medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and type 2 diabetes, it is particuilarly beneficial for improving mental health - due to the prominence it places on mindfulness and deep breathing, which is proven to reduce stress.

How to Choose Between Pilates and Yoga

The most important thing to do when deciding whether to book a Pilates class or yoga class is to clarify your goals.

If you are looking for rehabilitation yoga can be an excellent exercise with a range of classes designed for different circumstances, but Pilates is often better when looking to rebuild strength.

For weightloss and body toning - Pilates comes out top and tends to have a greater focus on toning muscles.

If you are living a hectic lifestyle that is taking its toll, yoga can help to reduce stress by calming your sympathetic nervous system. Breathing can help with relaxation, and give you a good nights sleep!

There are good reasons to do both Pilates and yoga - why not try both for a more holistic workout that will rejuvinate your mind, body and soul!

Find a Pilates or Yoga Class Near You

Once you have made the decision to attend a Pilates or yoga class, it is time to book your lesson! Visit our website or download our App for all the latest deals on classes and workshops in your area, and book today!