Yoga Or Pilates: Which is the Best for You?

Yoga and pilates have a lot of similarities which is why so many people are always confused with these two practices. Both exercises use breathing techniques and help to strengthen your core. We found this cool infographic that can help you get a clearer picture of the differences and what you’ll be getting from yoga and pilates.

Here’s a brief summary of the differences between yoga and pilates:

Core Principles:

  • Yoga: Proper relaxation, breathing and meditation.
  • Pilates: Concentration, centering your body and precision.

Mind, Body and Spirit:

  • Yoga: Explores spirituality through meditation.
  • Pilates: Focuses on the understanding of connecting your mind and body.

Stretching, Flexibility and Strength:

  • Yoga: Mainly on stretching. Find a yoga style that fits your needs and personality.
  • Pilates: Largely on core strength. It also strengthens your arms, back, inner thighs and glutes.

For Runners:

  • Yoga: Effective because it involves a dynamic stretching and manages the workload of the muscles.
  • Pilates: You’ll gain core strength, improved balance and a better posture.

For Weight loss (For an hour class):

  • Yoga: Will burn from 200- 630 calories. Depending on yoga style.
  • Pilates: Will burn 260- 460 calories. Depending on whether you’re a beginner or an advanced student.

The Class:

  • Yoga: Flexible routines and teaches chants or meditation to start and end the class.
  • Pilates: Structured class with more active routines.

The Workout:

  • Yoga: You will work out your muscles evenly, creating a balance in your body. Core strength is one of the components.
  • Pilates: You will get a total body workout that focuses on aligning your spine and your core. Sometimes, you use machines and mats to use your strength and body’s resistance.

Which Is Right For You?

  • Yoga: To de-stress, do relaxing exercises and get into your spiritual side.
  • Pilates: For a stronger back and core.  For dancers and athletes who want to improve their performance and help rehabilitate their injuries.


yoga and pilates

How did Yoga and Pilates come about?

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old practice of harmonising the body with the mind and breath by using a variety of  breathing techniques, yoga postures (asanas) and meditation [1]. We have shared on what yoga is all about and the 8 limbs of yoga over here.

Pilates, on the other hand, was created by the late Joseph Pilates, a physical trainer from Germany around the 1920s. He learned and trained in yoga, body building, Zen, skiing and gymnastics. Then, he created ‘Contrology’, an exercise system focused on improving flexibility, strength, and body awareness [2]. His exercise system is now most commonly known as pilates. This is why there are some yoga elements in pilates too.

Both pilates and yoga actually complement each other. They gel so well that there are even some centres offering pilates and yoga fusion classes these days.

Depending on your fitness goals, it is up to you to decide which exercise will be suitable for you. Would you rather go for a more spiritual experience with yoga or focus on strengthening your core with pilates? Or you could go all out and try both before making up your mind! Plenty of pilates and yoga centres offer free first trials!


Have you tried pilates and yoga? We would love to know which one you would go for, so do feel free to share them here or on our Facebook page!

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