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5 differences that you should know between Yoga and Pilates

You want to start a new activity, but you are hesitating between Pilates and yoga? You’re not the only one ! This is why we will take the time to explain the differences between Yoga and Pilates.

We will start by talking about yoga, then Pilates, then we will explore the 5 differences between the two sports to end by advising you in your choice. Do not hesitate to give us your opinion in comment!


What is Yoga? 

As you will have understood, yoga as well as Pilates are disciplines in their own right. Yoga is a very ancient Indian practice, which has evolved over time to become what it is today, often linked to meditation practice.

If you are interested in its history, there are some very good films about it, which we mention in our article about our 5 films and documentaries on yoga. The primary goals are to adjust breathing techniques, developing flexibility and relax, focusing on the mind while doing the yoga poses. In terms of balance and emotional management, there are many benefits. It also reduces stress and sometimes allows you to lose weight.


What is Pilates?

Pilates, on the other hand, is a method invented by a certain Joseph Pilates at the beginning of the 20th century. This set of exercises has more of a goal of stress relief and strengthening deep muscles, to improve some physical aspects like posture and flexibility of joints.

Thanks to this method, you strengthen weaker and often neglected muscles, which release other muscles that suffer from the underperformance of others. It can be really positive if you have chronic back pain, for example, or if your back is curved.


The 5 differences between Yoga and Pilates

·      The goal

As we explain in the previous paragraph, yoga and Pilates are two practices that are similar in some points, but do not seek to achieve the same objectives. Where yoga seeks to develop you, to open you to the World whether physically or spiritually, Pilates is more a method of physical fitness, almost of rehabilitation. They are often compared because some exercises are similar, but it is nevertheless necessary to understand the difference between the two.


·      Breathing

In both practices, breath control is a key concept. Teachers almost always ask students to focus on it, and to synchronize their movement with their breathing. However, breathing in yoga is done exclusively through the nose, while you inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth in the Pilates method.


·      The method

You may already know this, but Joseph Pilates was a great practitioner of yoga. This is why exercises are found in both disciplines. Despite the obvious similarities between some exercises, the execution differs on some points:

·      Breathing is different

·      In Pilates, there are downtimes to check the correct position of the body and the correct use of deep muscles

·      In Pilates these are series of exercises where the movement is repeated several times

·      In yoga, it is a posture that works step by step, as in the Salutation to the Moon 

·      The Body-Mind Bond

The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, and means union. The union between body and mind for a better version of oneself through awareness and breathing is the primary goal of this discipline. Each posture has a role, a meaning.

We must do them, do them again, appropriate them, in the end to incorporate the ideas of this current. In Pilates, on the other hand, there is no meditation or particular philosophy. Finally, in yoga you need to follow certain ethical rules, rules to follow during your sessions as well as in daily life. 

·      The posture

If you practice yoga you will understand that the posture is one of the goals to improve, Pilates is almost entirely devoted to it. With the help of a good positioning of the spine and the work of the deep muscles, you learn to stand upright. In addition, a lot of accessories are used to achieve this, such as balloons or magic circles.

A man who's deeply thinking

Which one should you choose?

After reading this article, you should know which one you want to choose. Both are very beneficial anyway, but it depends on what you’re looking for. If you like the idea of muscle building, but the body-mind alliance also attracts you, there is a hybrid discipline. Indeed, the Yogalates is halfway to strengthen you and help you on the road to introspection.


So here we are at the end of this article, where we put yoga and Pilates side by side. We started by explaining the two disciplines, and then we outlined the 5 major notable differences. We ended up telling you about your choice and the new discipline halfway between the two.


Even if you do your yoga sessions for yourself, the pleasure of this sport lies above all in sharing. The sharing of our ideas, our desires, our feelings, which are meant to be transmitted. That is why we invite you to join the great community of Yooga-Pants, where you will find other enthusiasts who, like you, have a lot to share.

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