What’s the difference between yoga and Pilates?

What’s the difference between yoga and Pilates?

With so many options to get active, you may be wondering what the best option is for you.

Two options to consider are yoga and Pilates. In yoga, a person focuses on their breath as they move into different postures. With Pilates, there are low-impact exercises designed to focus on building strength, especially in the core area.

“Pilates and yoga are very similar. However, Pilates focuses more on the midsection of the body and yoga focuses on the full body,” says Lisa Hale, group exercise and personal training coordinator at Aurora Wellness Center in Burlington.

Hale said yoga is a mind and body practice. Not only is it about increasing flexibility, increasing strength and helping with balance, but it is also about accepting where you are in the moment, she says. Yoga may also help with anxiety, depression, and to help relieve stress.

“So many people think yoga is about finding and being in the perfect pose, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about finding the pose that’s perfect for your body, where you are, meeting your body where your body’s ready. So many times people say they are not flexible enough to do yoga, but I always say there isn’t one perfect pose, there’s the person’s perfect pose,” says Hale.

Yoga is usually done on a mat. Pilates can also be done on a mat but is sometimes performed on a machine called a reformer.

“In Pilates you do use the full body, however the focus is on the core,” says Hale, “Pilates helps with balance because you are strengthening the core.”

Hale said in both yoga and Pilates, there is a focus on body awareness and moving with the breath.

“Where you are more aware of what your body needs and what your body shouldn’t be doing. You are more in tune with your body,” she says.

Both Pilates and yoga are “excellent” options for moving your body, Hale says.

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  1. The information provided about the difference between yoga and pilates was extremely helpful. I’m going make yoga a part of my weekly routine. I feel it will help with working through stress.

  2. I went to the local YMCA for yoga and pilates, but they closed down. Many of the other independent yoga and pilates businesses closed down after COVID-19. The business that did survive, in upscale towns, are too expensive for my budget.

  3. Irshad Ahmad sabir September 25, 2021 at 11:57 am · Reply

    Youga really gives you a proper oxygen and nitrogen balance in the body through proper inhale and exhale with posture.
    Strong lunges mean a high immune system. PH of gutt favourable. Good nos of intestinal valleys mean better defence against pathogenic bacterias.

  4. Yes, Exactly both are equivalent in their place, And This is Great information shared by you Yoga and Pilates. However, yoga can cure physical and Mental problems too. I studied Yoga courses through the World Oldest Yoga Institute – The Yoga Institute which gave me a vast knowledge of yoga to implement for a healthy life.

  5. Limitless Physiotherapy October 16, 2023 at 12:04 pm · Reply

    While yoga emphasizes spirituality and flexibility, Pilates focuses on building core strength and stability. Pilates involves precise movements and equipment, whereas yoga primarily uses body weight. Both offer unique benefits, so it’s about finding the perfect fit for your wellness journey.

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About the Author

Brittany Lewis
Brittany Lewis

Brittany Lewis is a media relations coordinator at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She previously worked as a reporter at TV stations around the Midwest, including Milwaukee. She studied at DePaul University where she majored in Journalism and Public Relations. Brittany enjoys traveling, hanging out by Lake Michigan, trying new restaurants and spending time with friends and family.