What is the Difference Between Yoga & Pilates?


Yoga vs Pilates


Joseph Pilates created pilates in the 1920s initially for rehabilitation and posture alignment. The philosophy of the exercise is that everything comes from the core out. The few main goals pilates aim to achieve is, concentration, centering, breathing, control, precision, flowing movement, isolation and routine.

The origins of yoga are unknown as it dates back more than 5000 years ago. There are different styles of yoga but essentially it is a practice of breath work, meditation and movement to improve physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

People are often confused about the differences between yoga and pilates because there are certain parts of the practice which overlap. Many of their stretches are the same and both of them can be practiced simply at home on a mat. Some poses in the practices are similar, such as the boat pose, pigeon stretch and plank. Both practices also aim to teach breath work and movement that improves the core strength, postural alignment and flexibility.

In a Pilates class, the workout is stitched together by a range of dynamic movements aimed to work out and isolate specific muscle groups eg. 10 Repetitions of abdominal curls, then switching to 10 scissor kicks, then 10 bicycles etc.

Traditionally, Yoga is a flow of different poses stitched together, often encouraged to hold for a breath, a few breaths or even minutes depending on the style taught eg. Coming from a crescent lunge to a warrior 2 to a reverse warrior. However, that is not the only difference. One of the main differences is that Yoga has a meditation component. Meditation is a crucial part of Yoga. It teaches individuals how to quieten their busy minds and centre their focus on a point of meditation – a practice of stillness.

I once heard someone describe the differences in one simple sentence – Pilates is a workout on the mat and Yoga is a way of living. So… which one do you prefer? :)

With Grace and Strength,
Alyssa xx