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Difference Between Pilates and Yoga

Difference Between Pilates and Yoga


Both Pilates and Yoga are low-impact forms of exercise and offer tons of benefits. If you are aiming for a fit and healthy lifestyle, then you can include any of these activities in your daily routine. But, before making a choice, you should learn about their distinctive features and find out which one will suit your goals better.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise that was developed by Joseph Pilates, near the end of the second World War. The primary purpose behind it was to help in the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. However, it has made its way to the mainstream fitness market and is a popular form of exercise today. Pilates promotes the strengthening of the core and the back by stabilizing muscles through small movements. It also has a strong emphasis on controlled-breathing habits that are associated with every exercise. Some major benefits of pilates include:

  1. Improvement of balance
  2. Improvement of body posture and flexibility
  3. Strengthening of muscle 
  4. Easing of joint pain

Some reports also suggest that pilates may offer other benefits for individuals with health conditions like back pain, joint injuries, arthritis, respiratory incontinence, etc.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a form of exercise that has been around for thousands of years now, originating in India. Apart from physical benefits, it also helps to calm one’s senses by controlling emotions and provides mental and spiritual peace. This form of exercise involves various types of postures, hand signs, breathing techniques, chants, and other things. Yoga offers a lot of benefits as it:

  1. Promotes positive thinking
  2. Eases back and neck pain
  3. Improves sleep 
  4. Improves body flexibility
  5. Improves mental and physical health

Difference between Pilates and Yoga

Here are some crucial differences between Pilates and Yoga, that will help you choose your suitable pick:

  1. Overall benefits

    Yoga covers a wider area of benefits than pilates, making it a suitable choice for individuals who are looking to improve and maintain their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. However, for individuals who are searching for a slightly more demanding exercise routine that will help them develop their core strength and flexibility, then Pilates stands out to be a great choice.

  2. Affordability

    Beginner fitness enthusiasts will find both Yoga and Pilates easy to start with. They are also quite budget-friendly, and can initially be done with just a mat. However, when you approach an advanced point, you will need to invest in equipment to carry out higher-level Pilates exercises. On the other hand, yoga doesn’t heavily rely on any fancy or expensive equipment and generally requires a yoga mat for the most part. 


It is quite normal for people to get confused between Pilates and Yoga, as they share some points of similarities, like being low-impact exercises, putting emphasis on breathing techniques, requiring less equipment, etc. However, they are different and you should pick the one that meets your needs. Experts recommend that you should consult with your doctor and certified instructor before starting an exercise program.

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