Pilates Vs. Yoga: Which One is Better for You?

Discover the basic differences between these two popular exercises
By Luna
Pilates Vs. Yoga: Which One is Better for You?

Pilates and yoga have evolved over the years, both becoming increasingly more popular as people turn toward these alternative methods for fitness, flexibility, and core stability. Each offers similar routines for low-impact exercises that aim to improve your overall health, strengthen your muscles, and places emphasis on the mind-body connection.

Though these two disciplines are often considered similar, there are definitely some unique differences between them. Not sure which exercise routine is the right fit for you? Here’s a quick overview of both yoga and pilates, along with the benefits and the differences between them. 

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a technique that focuses primarily on mindfulness and breathing to bring together the spiritual mind and physical body. Yoga is often used as a way to relax the mind and reduce stress. It has been known to have a much more spiritual goal, often incorporating meditation into its practices.

The exercises in yoga use the body’s weight as resistance and breathing techniques as a way to calm the mind. Poses are typically held for longer, taking the time to feel each breath and connect with your environment without the help of exercise equipment or machines.

More fast-paced yoga classes are intended to help with improving the strength and stability of muscles and joints, whereas slower classes will focus on stretching deeper connective tissue which helps with flexibility and balance.

In addition to having positive effects from meditation and relaxation, yoga can also have healing effects on the following medical issues:

What is Pilates?

Pilates, on the other hand, has similar goals of strength, flexibility, and oneness of the mind. However, pilates puts an emphasis on the core. Pilates similarly uses the body’s weight as resistance to help with control and centering the core to serve as the foundation for exercises that will affect the rest of the body.

Alternatively, breathing techniques for pilates are used to energize the body and muscles rather than fully relax them. Exercises most often incorporate equipment used to bring attention to posture and alignment. This leads to more stability throughout the body, stemming from the core. Because of the potential for building core stability, pilates is commonly used for rehabilitation. 

Some common conditions that use pilates for rehabilitation include:

Pilates vs. Yoga: Which is Better?

Pilates and yoga ultimately have different overall goals, so the answer to this question depends on what you want to achieve. Yoga encompasses a more spiritual approach to improving your health, strengthening your body, and relieving stress. Pilates works to strengthen your core and improve flexibility by focusing on awareness of the body and centering yourself.

If you’re thinking about taking a yoga or pilates class for rehabilitation, you should always consult your physician first. Pilates and yoga complement each other well if you’re looking to strengthen the body and quiet your mind. You may even benefit from incorporating a combination into your routine.

Talk to a physical therapist today to find out which option would offer you the most dynamic, tangible results. At Luna, we offer on-demand physical therapy, giving you access to one-on-one help from a PT in your area, when and where it is most convenient for you. Contact us at Luna today to get started on improving your overall health and get expert advice for your specific condition.

Handpicked Resources For You

A Guide to Some Simple Yoga Poses to Stretch and Strengthen - Very Well Fit

Pilates and Yoga - Health Benefits - Better Health Channel

Yoga: Its Origin, History, and Development - Ministry of External Affairs

Yoga 101: The Poses, the Types, the Health Benefits, and if You’re a Beginner, How to Get Started on the Mat - Everyday Health

Slideshow: 15 Pilates Moves That Get Results - Web MD

Get on-demand physical therapy today.
Schedule Visit