June 27, 2022 5 min read

Pilates and Yoga have lately become the two most popular ways of inducing a healthy lifestyle. However, people, especially ladies, often ask the question of whether Pilates is a better option than Yoga.

There are multiple similarities, which make a choice even more difficult. In this article, we will draw out the significant differences between the two that will help you decide which one of them is the perfect fit for you. 

Pilates

Pilates is a kind of exercise that focuses on small movements that help stabilize the significant muscles that reside in the back and the core region of the body.

Breath-controlling is an essential factor in Pilates so that the contraction of the core muscles can be emphasized.

It was devised by Joseph Pilates, who was a German anatomist, with the aim of curing his physical problems along to help the affected soldiers in World War I. 

The benefits of Pilates include- 

  1. Increased muscle strength and endurance
  2. Better flexibility and posture
  3. Better balance 
  4. Decreased joint pain
  5. Help reduce arthritis, back pain, respiratory issues, etc. 

Yoga

Yoga is a physical and spiritual practice that began in ancient India. It is performed by blending poses (asanas) with breathing techniques (pranayama) to perform an exercise that helps the mind and the body.

People do Yoga for various reasons, ranging from weight loss to a healthy life and a sound mind. Yoga has acquired worldwide fame just recently. 

The benefits of Yoga include- 

  1. Increased core strength
  2. Improved posture and balance
  3. Increased flexibility
  4. Burning excess fat
  5. Enhanced sleep
  6. Reduce issues in the body such as high blood pressure, spinal disk issues, osteoporosis, blood clotting, etc. 

Similarities Between the Two

Pilates and Yoga are two different forms of exercise. So then, why are people often confused between the two? It is because of the similarities that exist between the two. The points of similarities between Yoga and Pilates are mentioned below. 

  1. Both use breathing techniques to rescue you from problems related to the respiratory system and the lungs. 
  2. Yoga and Pilates focus on increasing an individual's core strength and flexibility. 
  3. There is no additional equipment required for doing both except for a mat. 
  4. Both help cure physical problems such as arthritis, back pains, spinal, joint pains, etc. 
  5. Yoga and Pilates are known to have a tremendously positive effect on your mind and help relieve stress and anxiety and improve concentration. 

Differences Between the Two

Moving on to the next and most important question, what is the difference between the two? We will now elaborate on some points of difference that will help you differentiate between Yoga and Pilates. 

1. The Mental ViewPoint

Yoga is considered a spiritual practice that focuses on the mind, body, and soul. Pilates, however, has its main focus on the body and breathing.

While both help maintains an individual's mental health, it has been observed that people doing Yoga are happier and more content.

This is because Yoga includes meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises), which improve oxygen flow in the body. This also calms the mind and helps the person doing Yoga eliminate problems such as stress, anxiety, mood swings, etc.

This is because Yoga, being a spiritual excercise, lays a significant focus on the removal of negative thoughts and emotions from the mind.

While Pilates is also known to have relieved problems such as anxiety and depression to a certain level, Yoga is considered the best medicine to get desired results pertaining to an individual's mental health. 

2. The Physical ViewPoint

Yoga and Pilates are excellent exercises that help you develop core strength and balance. However, Pilates is a more structured workout that lacks the cardio component but lay great emphasis on strengthening the muscles.

The exercises conducted in Pilates come with multiple additional benefits such as muscle toning, overall strength, body control, flexibility, etc.

Yoga is a comparatively less rigorous exercise than Pilates, whose poses are meant to tone the body and enhance its strength of the body. 

3. The Rehabilitation Benefits

Yoga and Pilates both are great exercises for rehabilitation for people who witnessed injury in certain sports or aggressive jobs such as army etc.

Both these exercises come with slow and controlled poses that do not have a heavy effect on the injured person's body yet work to improve their condition or pre-existing problems.

In addition, people recovering from issues such as depression or trauma can also use Yoga and Pilates to re-balance their hormones with the help of breathing techniques and exercises. 

However, some experts feel that if you are looking for an exercise for recovery, Pilates is a better option as its targeted movements and adaptable solutions help the concerned person improve the direction of the affected areas.

On the other hand, people can practice Yoga to prevent such issues and injuries from happening, as they help stretch the muscles. People who do a lot of sports activities such as running, cycling, swimming, etc., should add Yoga to their curriculum. 

4. Yoga and Pilates in Pregnancy

Both Yoga and Pilates are recommended by doctors and considered safe and beneficial in pregnancy. However, Yoga plays a major and a more critical role in easing back pains and toning the muscles while also strengthening the joints during pregnancy.

Other common problems that occur in pregnancy, such as loss of stamina, neck aches, shoulder aches, and easing the heaviness in the pelvic floor, can also be done with the help of Yoga. It strengthens the muscles that otherwise weaken during pregnancy. 

5. Yoga VS Pilates for Weight Loss

Yoga and Pilates have almost the same effects on the bodies of individuals in terms of weight loss. However, the more fierce exercises done in Pilates might help an individual achieve faster results.

Yoga, on the other hand, develops core strength, stabilizes the mind, and then slowly helps in the body's overall weight loss. So if your primary motive is to lose weight and get faster results, Pilates is your choice.

6. Levels of Difficulty

Pilates is a more intense exercise compared to Yoga. It is done by performing some rigorous exercises and poses, which also show effects much faster than Yoga.

While Yoga starts with easy poses in the beginning and slowly moves on to the more difficult ones, Pilates considers extreme levels of exercise, which help you obtain a flat and firm stomach much faster than Yoga. 

Which One is Better for You?

We have seen the significant points of difference between Yoga and Pilates. In conclusion, it can be said that while Yoga is a less intensive, spiritual exercise that focuses on the mind, soul, and body, Pilates is a comparatively vigorous exercise.

Having said that, if you are a beginner, especially of middle or higher age, trying to add something new into your daily routine, Yoga should be a better option for you. However, if you are a young fitness enthusiast looking to tone your body or lose extra pounds, Pilates can be considered the better option.

Nikita Parihar
Nikita Parihar


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