Type “Pilates vs yoga” into Google and you will notice a content view. Why? Well, people seem to have a hard time understanding the difference between the two. It’s such a broad search topic that it has its own category on Google – that’s why we’ve brought in the experts to help answer your biggest “Pilates vs yoga” questions.
Pilates vs. Yoga – what’s the difference?
Although both are a low-impact workout with a similar focus on improving flexibility, strength and endurance, experts say the biggest difference is that yoga incorporates more spirituality. This would make sense given that yoga originated in ancient India and is rooted in spiritual philosophy, while Pilates was invented by physician Joseph Pilates who was more focused on the mechanics of training.
What are the origins of yoga?
“As many of us know, yoga originated in India, but the exact date is unknown,” Cat Meffan, yoga teacher and founder of Soul Sanctuary told Grazia. “In one of the best-known yogic texts, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written between 500 BC and 400 AD in India by the sage Patanjali, the physical body (asana) is mentioned only three times, out of 196 sutras. These sutras are short sequences of words given as guidelines for the practice of yoga. This gives us a very good indication that yoga is much more than what we do on a yoga mat.
What are the origins of Pilates?
“Pilates is often confused with yoga; however, they are both very different,” says Hollie Grant, founder of Pilates PT. “Pilates is often practiced using only body weight as resistance, but there are also many pieces of equipment that we use in Pilates, such as a Cadillac, Reformer, Wunda chair, bow barrel, etc. Pilates was created with pure fitness in mind and is more focused on strength, but a by-product of Pilates is usually an increase in flexibility.
According to Beth of Trifecta Pilates, neither yoga nor Pilates can be said to be better than each other, but rather serve different needs. She succinctly explains the differences in the YouTube video below:
Whether yoga or Pilates is right for you depends on what you expect from your workout routine. With that in mind, we spoke to experts to learn about the benefits of each discipline.
What are the benefits of yoga?
“Although we tend to categorize yoga first as a physical activity and as something that will make us strong and flexible, there’s so much more to this practice than meets the eye,” says Cat. “From a physical point of view, yoga can energize you, it can calm your nervous system, it can stretch out all those muscle folds in the body after a long day, and it can make you really strong.” But what sets yoga apart from so many other types of movement is that it has the power to truly transform you, from the inside out.
“It’s a practice that’s steeped in so much ancient wisdom and if students are willing to look beyond the practice of asanas, they’ll find that yoga can change their lives for the better…without even necessarily walking. on a yoga mat. Yoga teaches us to slow down and create space in our busy lives. It gives us tools and foundations to peel back the layers of self, so that we can live from a place of more authenticity and more authority Yoga can help relieve anxiety, something so many people now struggle with, simply through the power of pranayama (breath) and meditation.
“From a personal perspective, yoga was the start of my journey of self-discovery, it helped me recover from an eating disorder and depression, and it helped me gaining confidence and accepting my imperfections in a society that had taught me that I had to be perfect”. Yoga gives me the space to be raw and vulnerable without shame or judgment and I know through my years of teaching that it does the same for so many others.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
“There are so many benefits to Pilates, but I always explain to clients that Pilates gets your body back to where it should be,” says Hollie. “Modern life involves so much bending; staring at phones, sitting in front of laptops, driving cars and our bodies almost forget what they were designed to do. Pilates fixes that. It improves your posture, strengthens weak muscles and, in turn, these reduce back pain and weakness. Pilates is a training method that aims to create a strong, functional body by reducing muscle imbalances and increasing core strength. Created by Joseph Pilates to build strength for prisoners of war, it’s incredibly powerful and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need Pilates in their life. As the body gets stronger and our posture improves, we will also notice an increase in flexibility and mobility.
“Pilates is an exercise that builds musculoskeletal strength. The musculoskeletal system consists of our bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Pilates exercises focus on this system and therefore make you feel stronger, more mobile and with better posture. Some exercises will burn your muscles in the moment, others will leave you feeling sore the next day, and some exercises will be just plain wonderful. But collectively, they will make you stronger, more flexible, have better posture, and be less likely to injure or hurt you. The main goal of Pilates is to build a strong and balanced body ANYWHERE. Those who practice Pilates should find that they have less muscle imbalances, which can help provide a greater range of motion in the joints, for example, it increases your flexibility.
Here you go, experts themselves! So which do you prefer?