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Yoga vs Pilates

Yoga vs Pilates is a common question asked my thousands of people who want to know the difference between the two or who are unsure of which on to take up. There is no definite answer to the debate, yoga benefits will be different to pilates benefits and the purposes of the two popular activities are unique.

These two phenomenons, yoga and pilates, has taken the modern world by storm and are often thought of as going hand-in-hand but are in fact two completely separate practices that differ in origin, exercises and core focus. Yoga poses will differ to those of pilates, and for a specific reason. Due to the number of different types of yoga and pilates, it is hard to pin point which is better for you. Both yoga and pilates will bring you improved muscular and postural strength.

Why is yoga good for you?

Yoga is an act that brings together your mind and body through coordination of exercise, breathing and meditating. If you are looking for a cardio workout then yoga classes will probably not be what you are looking for, clearly depending on the type of yoga, generally speaking. As it is a low-intensity form of exercise, the longer the yoga session, the more pounds you will lose. However, yoga is proven to boost felxibility, endurance and strength through regular participation over a long period of time. An additional benefit of yoga is that is help to bring inner peace and relaxation, helping you to de-stress and contemplate.

Why is pilates good for you?

Pilates is a form of exercise that aims to strengthen muscle groups by stretching and lengthening the target muscles. As a calm way of exercising, it will not boost your heart rate like going for a jog would, but the more advanced class, the higher your heart rate would be. For weight loss, pilates is slightly more effective than yoga, however you would need to maintain going to pilates classes for around an hour several times a week for several weeks for regular weight loss. Pilates is especially useful for building abdominal strength and tightening obliques, with improved flexibility as a bonus.


Pilates or Yoga


Fit for Pilates?

Is Pilates suitable for you?


The great thing about Pilates is that workouts can be tailored to any age, capability or fitness level. The basic positions of Pilates are simple and easy to learn and provide a good basic knowledge for the more advanced positions. People with less mobility can make the most of the mat work that primarily uses sitting, lying and standing positions. As the movements are gentle and slow each person can find a pace comfortable for them. It is suitable for anyone who wants to improve posture, stability, muscle tone and mentality.


Pilates for back pain

Pilates helps strengthen the weak muscles and stretch those which are tense. In regards to the spine this helps the back improve in both posture and health. Over time, habits that could potentially damage the spine are replaced as the awareness of one’s body increases and the positions that promote neutral alignment become habitual.


Pilates for athletes

Many athletes practice Pilates to compliment their training regime. Cardio is good for weight loss but it is necessary to create supple and strengthened muscles in order to succeed. The New Zealand All Blacks are advocates of the method. It helps to prepare the body to cope better with injury and to develop higher levels of stamina, strength and co-ordination so performance is at a peak level. Every athlete has to warm-up before taking part in a sport/event and Pilates is just a developed series of stretches.


Remember experienced tutors can personalise workouts so that the exercise is custom-made toward the individual to maximise long term benefits.



Pilates during pregnancy

During pregnancy a womans body is subject to physical and hormonal changes. These changes are inevitable, however Pilates can help the body prepare for the challenges that pregnancy brings through prenatal exercises. Pilates will help strengthen your muscles and joints to make it easier to carry the extra weight of the baby,  and ease backache by reinforcing the muscles around your core to support the growing uterus. Mentally, Pilates exercises will provide a crucial boost of confidence and a great sense of well-being.


Pregnant pilates exercise



Many of the abdominal exercises in a regular pilates class are unsuitable for pregnant women. Precautions should also be taken when doing any supine (lying face up) exercises that includes lifting either the head, shoulders, or legs off the ground.

Any exercises that require you to lie face down are also not recommended as this could cause injury to you and the baby. Instead, modify the exercise a little and try lying on your side.


Exercises performed on the hands and knees are an ideal position for pregnant women. Not only does it take some of the strain off the back and pelvic area but towards the final stages of pregnancy it may guide the baby into the correct position for birth.


It is very important to ensure you do not do more harm than good to your body when pregnant. Therefore it is essential to seek a trained teacher who is educated in providing the correct instruction for pregnant women. Remember – listen to your body and do not do any exercises that make you feel uncomfortable.






Pilates VS Yoga

Pilates and yoga are both exercise methods that work the mind as well as the body. Pilates is a method of more recent origins that will definitely give you a harder workout physically. Yoga, on the other hand, was created in India and  is designed to relieve stress in a calm environment. It is a therapeutic exercise for anyone who wants to connect with their individual consciousness in the most advanced forms of meditation. A combination of the two would be the ideal way to support an allround healthy lifestyle.


‘Yoga VS Pilates …which is better?’ …there is no definitive answer to this question. They are exercises designed for different purposes. The diagram below offers a brief insight into both so you can decide which is best for yourself!



Yoga VS Pilates