Yoga Vs Pilates: What’s The Difference?

Usually when you hear about Yoga, Pilates is a topic of discussion that shortly follows. While their practices are similar, they do have major differences; both categories also have several practices within their workout genre. Here is your rundown on the differences between Yoga vs Pilates.


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The initial purpose of Yoga is to connect mind, body and spirit; these entities are viewed as one united structure. Several people who practice Yoga use it as a fitness regime to heal the body and find spiritual harmony. Yoga is considered to be a therapeutic practice. Flexibility, endurance and breathing are heavily emphasized during the practice, ultimately promoting relaxation. Yoga classes are performed on a mat and use your body weight to deepen each pose.

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Pilates is a much younger practice that started in the mid-20th century by athlete, Joseph Pilates; the creation of Pilates was used for rehabilitation and strengthening. Ironically, dancers made Pilates increasingly more popular. They used it to modify their movements and improve their performances and training. Pilates focuses on your entire body and has a slightly less popular demand for spiritual practice. The primary focus is on the core, balance and flexibility, ultimately tightening your muscles. Pilates classes also focus on aligning the spine – great for posture.

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Yoga Vs. Pilates

When it comes to determining Yoga vs. Pilates, yoga adds an extra element to the fitness practice – the spirit. Spirituality is giant element of yoga practices, especially meditation. Pilates promotes an understanding that mind and body are connected but lacks that spiritual element. Yoga vs Pilates also differentiate themselves in terms of machinery. Yoga implements a mat whereas Pilates can use reformers, mats and other workout materials. Both fitness practices however work on strength and flexibility. Pilates is also a bit more structured in the sense you know what to expect. The Yoga practice tends to have a more flexible routine with different postures, sequences and variants. Yoga vs Pilates practices also entertain an emphasis on controlling your breathing.

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Yoga vs. Pilates: Which Practice Is For You

If you are a spiritual being looking to manage stress, yoga is a perfect fitness option. If you desire to work on your core and back, Pilates could be a better option. You can always try both practices or mix and match. Exercise is proven to help individuals who suffer from anxiety or depression but Yoga might be the most effective exercise in this department. It helps focus on the mind and spirit as well as working your body. When comparing Yoga vs. Pilates breathing techniques are a great place to start. They are both wonderful strengthening exercises that help tone the body.

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Let us know what you think about yoga vs pilates in the comments below!
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Hi, I'm Leah, a Los Angelino living in Boston! I'm a grad from Northeastern University with a Bachelors from the College of Arts, Media and Design. I'm obsessed with going on adventures, photography, writing, being a Taurus and finding hidden gem restaurants, musicians and places to travel. I live for tacos and you can't keep me away from a cute farm stand. I also live for Instagram ... oops!