Which One Is Right For You, Yoga Or Pilates?

Both Yoga and Pilates are excellent methods that transform your body, mind and spirit in a positive way and bring happiness to those who practice. What are the main differences between Yoga and Pilates and how to know which is a better practice for you?

Unless you are familiar with both practices, or a trained instructor, it may be hard to notice the differences between Pilates and Yoga. They overlap in many similarities but also have their own unique differences as well.

Pilates and Yoga are both considered mind-body forms of exercise, emphasizes on connecting the mind to the body and not just moving the body like one is told to do.

Both methods are body transforming movements that promote positive body transformation through the body, mind and spirit.

Let me first begin by breaking down a little background information for both Pilates and Yoga. Both have changed over the years as well as both have different paths of variations that still fall under their parent category. This is important to know in case something listed doesn’t seem to match perfectly with the method you are used to.

This does not mean your method is wrong, it just may mean it is a variation of the original which still carries the basic foundation the method was built on initially.

PILATES is based on six principles: Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, Flow.

CENTERING: Strengthening the powerhouse and movements come from the powerhouse.
CONCENTRATION: Attention to the movement and where it comes from to control the move
CONTROL: Engaging the mind to the body in which the exercise is calling specific muscles to work
PRECISION: Less is more. Quality over Quantity.
BREATH: Strengthening the mind body connection from attaching breath to the movement
FLOW: Fluidity in each movement with seamless transitions.



YOGA is based on five principles: Strength, Balance, Flexibility, Anti-aging and the Curing of illness and disease.

Pilates and Yoga are pretty complimentary to one another but also offer huge differences that leads one person to practicing one over the other.

Pilates and Yoga are both considered mind-body forms of exercise, emphasizes on connecting the mind to the body and not just moving the body like one is told to do. With that being said they are both about the journey and each moment you go through when performing the exercises. It isn’t about the end but what it took to get there.

Increasing strength in the core first
Precision of movement from the core
Most exercises done lying down
Performed on mats and various Pilates’ machines
One steady breath with a couple exceptions

Increasing strength and flexibility in the spine
Focus on breath first, then pose
Most exercises done standing
Performed primarily on a mat
Long deep breath to create heat

They both offer so much positivity to the body, that is hard to completely choose one over the other when it comes to their benefits. It is literally about personal preference. For me, I have picked Pilates and have based my life on it. It literally shapes my life. It teaches me to be aware of my body, my mind, my surrounds and really inspires me each and every day, through my own practice and those practicing around me.

It has brought so much joy and happiness to my life that I have no idea where I would be without Pilates. I would be lying though if I didn’t say that I enjoy a good yoga class every once in awhile.

The best way for you to learn for yourself though is to actually test them out yourselves. Just like with other forms of exercise give each type a few chances. The first time may be hard to judge because you just had no idea what was going on and the priority was getting a feel for it and a sense of comfort.

Going a couple more times, is when you can truly embrace what is happening. Also trying a different teacher each time is helpful too. They are human just like the rest of us and maybe one person is quite your style. All you have to lose is not trying it out for yourself.


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