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How Is Pilates Different Than Yoga

What About Yoga’s Mental And Spiritual Benefits

One of the big differences between yoga and other physical modalities is that it asks you to pay attentionthere is a huge emphasis on being present and on breathing, says Russo. If youre taking a yoga class with a good teacher, they have a way of sneaking in psychological or spiritual benefits. If youre not connecting to something deeper than how physically strong you are, then youre missing the point of having a yoga practice. Yoga asks that you listen to what your body is telling you; a good yoga teacher will remind her students that pushing and muscling their way into a yoga pose is not the point, and has the potential to injure them. I like to remind my students that who you are on the mat is who you are off it. So if youre learning how to be kind to your body and how to slow down, be present, and breathe, my hope is that you take that with you, and the benefits will show up in ways you least expect it.

Asanas Or Yoga Postures

Each yoga posture, or asana, is held for a period of time and linked with breathing. Generally, a yoga session begins with gentle asanas and works up to more vigorous or challenging postures. A full yoga session should exercise every part of your body and should include pranayama , relaxation and meditation.The different postures or asanas include:

  • lying postures
  • inverted or upside-down postures.

The Varying Histories Of Yoga And Pilates

Yoga is a sacred tradition that spawned in India some 5,000+ years ago. Its purpose was to connect the individual consciousness to the universal blissful consciousness.

Together with asanas , breath control, and simple meditation, it improves your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, explains Nichola Dunne, yoga instructor at YogaWorks in Brentwood, California.

The repetition of the asanas and the attention to the details of the poses, helps to calm and quiet the busy mind while building flexibility and strength.

Pilates is more new-age, although its been around for nearly a century. Pilates was founded around 1925 by Joseph Pilates and was mostly used for physical rehabilitation, according to Dunne.

The main goal is to strengthen the core, improve posture, stabilize and elongate the spine, and develop balance and overall strength. Its since changed and developed dramatically over the course of the last several decades.

However, its main goals of strengthening the core, improving posture, stabilizing and elongating the spine, and developing balance and overall strength, remains intact, Dunne adds.

Aaptiv has yoga workouts that can help strengthen and tone your core. Download the app today and see all our workout classes.

Yoga And Pilates: Differences And Similarities

and pilates are two popular forms of exercise in the modern century, and sometimes the two get mixed up. Both are fitness forms that rely on the use of your body to complete the movements, yet they emphasize different ideals when it comes to health. Still, yoga and pilates share some similarities, and knowing more about each form is helpful when deciding which practice to engage in.

Yoga Is Better For Reducing Stress

Yoga vs. Pilates: Whats the Difference?

A 2019 compared women who practiced yoga and women who practiced Pilates. The study found both types of exercise improved self-reported measures of well-being and psychological distress, but the yoga group saw greater improvement.

Some yoga involves deep breathing, which the nervous system and reduces stress. 

“One of the critical elements of many yoga practices is combining the actual breath with the movement that you’re going through,” Pojednic says. “Although you certainly are encouraged to breathe with movement during Pilates, I think that the combined effect of moving with breath that yoga offers is going to be a more potent stress reduction stimulus.”

Which Is Better: Yoga Or Pilates

Weve determined that yoga and Pilates will target new muscle groups and improve your strength, flexibility, posture and breathing technique, all the while being adaptable for anyone to practise. 

There is no clear winner here. It depends on why you want to incorporate yoga or Pilates into your fitness regime and what you want to get out of it. If you want to try yoga or Pilates to lose weight, combining the exercises with aerobics will give you the best results! 

Ultimately, we recommend giving both forms of exercises a try to determine Pilates vs yoga benefits. You may be surprised by which one suits you best.

Barre Vs Pilates: What Is The Difference

The main differences between Pilates and barre is the amount of equipment used and how you work your muscles.

Barre uses a bar, a mat, and sometimes an exercise ball, while Pilates also uses a mat, and other equipment such as light hand weights and magic circles to more technical gear like a reformer or tower.

Both exercises also slightly differ in the focus of muscle groups.

Barre is typically performed in an aerobic setting and focuses on small, intense movements that push muscles to the point of fatigue, while Pilates is non-aerobic and moves between small and large muscle groups, focusing on core strength and flexibility.

Both Barre and pilates are modern exercises that offer a unique way to tone and strengthen your muscles.

No matter which exercise you choose, you will no doubt see positive changes in both your mind and your body.

Get lean legs and strong arms, and more by doing Barre and pilates!


Difference 2: Role Of Body And Mind

Probably the most crucial difference between Pilates and Yoga is their focus on body and mind.

Pilates primarily focuses on the body. Yoga, on the other hand, on combining body and mind.

Yoga does have styles that promote physical and muscular development, but its more a holistic way of life. Pilates has a weaker connection to Mindfulness and serves more as a workout for the whole body. 

Modern Yoga can also be practiced as a form of sport. Those who want to live more mindful and are open to spirituality will find in Yoga a philosophy of life that is more in demand than ever in our society.

Who May Benefit Most From Pilates

Pilates is great for individuals of all fitness levels. People who are just beginning a fitness program will find its a great way to ease into more intense methods of exercise. Its also beneficial for pregnant and postpartum women and people wishing to strengthen their muscles after an injury. A physicians approval should be sought before beginning any exercise program.

People who enjoy yoga but may be looking for a more vigorous core workout can benefit from Pilates, as they both incorporate similar mind-clearing techniques. Pilates is great for people who desire a full-body workout during each class. Though an intense fitness method, Pilates provides an effective workout with minimal impact on the joints.

Difference Between Pilates And Yoga

Overall, the biggest difference between Pilates and yoga is the ultimate goal. Yoga provides a meditative environment for you to improve your overall quality of life. It focuses on stress relief while improving your body.

Pilates works from the center of your body outward. It forces you to increases your body awareness and work from your core, resulting in a stronger body. Yoga and Pilates each have their merits. The best part is that you really dont have to choose. Combine Pilates with yoga for an amazing way to transform your daily routine.

#3 Supports Mental Health And Wellbeing

Even at peak physical fitness, having low mental health can be debilitating and demotivating in all aspects of life. So, its important to look after your mind as well as your body – but which is better to enhance mental health, yoga or Pilates? 

This brings us to wellbeing and stress-busting benefits of yoga vs Pilates that we discussed previously. Any form of exercise will boost mental health, but yoga takes the lead for reducing stress and anxiety due to its spiritual pursuits in uniting mind, body and breath. 

This is a key difference between Pilates and yoga, as many yoga styles incorporate areas of mindfulness, meditation and close analysis of the body. There are countless studies to show the psychological benefits of yoga. For example, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice examined yoga as a stress management tool to assist in alleviating depression and anxiety. 

The study involved women who were referred to a yoga clinic from July 2006 to July 2007. They participated in two 90 minute classes a week for two months, leading to significant reduction in anxiety – suggesting that yoga can complement or assist medical therapy. 

Yoga requires focus and concentration to keep you anchored in the moment and away from daily stresses and distractions. The use of deeper breathing and detoxifying postures can help to calm the nervous system, creating headspace and managing your mental health. 

#1 Adaptable And Convenient

One of the similarities and the benefits of yoga and Pilates is that theyre both low-impact and highly adaptable for any fitness level, ability or age. They can be performed at home, or at the gym and beginners are always welcomed – though some classes may have recommendations for the level that it is best catered towards. 

Trainers are challenged to work those often ignored muscle groups of every experience level, so you can rest assured that after a session, every area that you may miss, will have been hit.

If youre interested to find out about yoga in more depth, you can read about yoga symbols and their meanings here.

Benefits Of Incorporating Yoga And Pilates Into Your Routine

Pilates vs. Yoga

Rebecca says that, in general, both Pilates and yoga are great options as low impact forms of strength training in particular when combined with cardiovascular training.

The purpose of yoga is to unite the mind, body and spirit. Some benefits include:

  • Improved flexibility
  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes.

Yoga and Pilates can also help improve your mental health. Conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression can all be improved by regularly practicing yoga or Pilates. Both exercises can also reduce the likelihood of sleep disturbances and many participants report a feeling of improved overall wellbeing.The most important thing when embarking on a new exercise regime is to get an assessment by a health professional, Rebecca says. They can outline an appropriate program, specifically developed just for you.

Pilates Vs Yoga Which One Should You Choose

Pilates is just like Yoga, isnt it? Pilates teachers have heard this question a hundred times, and people new to Pilates have been itching to find the answer.

Most people believe that Yoga is just stretching and Pilates is a celebrity ab workout. Well, there is way more to both of these methods than these common stereotypes portray.

For many years I thought that Pilates was superior to Yoga. I could honestly call myself a Pilates snob. Please, dont throw rotten tomatoes at me right away. I had my reasons Ive worked with several students who got injured during a Yoga class, they tore their rotator cuffs or had major neck issues. I was helping them regain their health as they were recovering from their Yoga practice.

Of course, over time I also got to know Yoga students and teachers who had incredible body awareness and were true inspirations during our sessions.

About 6 months ago I have decided to try a Yoga class at one of the local studios. I was not doing it because my Pilates practice was lacking something I simply wanted to be a student again eager to discover a new challenge and a new goal.

So, lets come back to our question Pilates vs Yoga. Which one should you choose? I am an analytical person and I like to lay out the facts when I am making any decisions. I also like to hear opinions of other people so I have asked several Pilates and Yoga practitioners to share their point of view.

Calories Burned Doing Pilates And Yoga

Even though neither Pilates nor yoga burns as many calories as, say, running or HIIT, youre still moving and thats going to burn calories.

A 130-pound person will burn 354 calories doing an hour of Bikram yoga, 413 calories in an hour of Ashtanga/power yoga and 148 calories doing an hour of Hatha yoga, according to . That same person will burn 177 calories doing an hour of beginner Pilates and 354 calories when they progress to advanced.

But intensity matters, and the good thing about Pilates and yoga, like most workouts, is that you can switch up the intensity based on your needs. Trying to burn more calories? Take a Lagree class, a more intense version of Pilates. Trying to recover from your long run the previous day? Try some restorative yoga instead. Either workout can be more effective than the other, depending on which youre more likely to do at a higher intensity.

Key Differences Between Yoga And Pilates

Practicing one or the other will bring you important benefits and is better than doing nothing at all. However, either yoga or Pilates may be better for your needs and goals. Some of the key differences between these two practices will help you decide which is best:

  • The Spiritual Focus. If you want a spiritual element to your workout, yoga can provide it. While Pilates includes a focus on breathing and connecting the mind and body, it is not a spiritual practice.
  • Variety. As you explore the two types of workout, youll find that there is more variety with yoga. You can choose a gentle restorative class, a challenging, sweaty hot yoga session and everything in between. Pilates is generally either mat work or reformer exercises with little variety in style.
  • Movements. The movements used in each practice are different. Pilates movements are smaller and more precise. Its a slower workout compared to most styles of yoga, which has bigger movements and transitions.
  • Rehabilitation. Pilates is good for rehabilitation from injuries or surgery. It can be adapted to match each individuals limitations and to build strength slowly and safely.
  • Equipment. Both workouts can be done without any equipment, but when used, its totally different. Some types of yoga use basic props. Many people do Pilates with more complicated equipment like the and the Cadillac.
  • Pilates Vs Yoga For Seniors

    Aug 24, 2021

    Pilates and yoga both are the same in many ways: both are low-impact exercises and perform on a mat. Also, both are forms of mind-body exercises, i.e., beneficial for stress management, breath control, physical fitness, and maintain seniors mental health. However, they are different workouts. This article provides beneficial information on similarities and differences between yoga and Pilates for seniors and will help you choose the best for your body.

    The Difference Between Yoga And Pilates

    One thing to keep in mind is that both yoga and Pilates encompass far more than we could ever begin to summarize here. So as we talk about the advantages to each and the differences between them, take it all with a grain of salt. Your experience with yoga or Pilates is dependent upon your level of comfort, your experience, your instructors methodology, and a hundred other variables. In either discipline, youll get out of it what you put into it.

    Yoga is more of a mindful, thoughtful experience. Yogis often consider it to be more of a spiritual connection or religion as opposed to an exercise. Yoga is designed to give you a calming sense of serenity as opposed to a full-body workout.

    On the other hand, Pilates is designed to strengthen and tone your body and make you better and more equipped for a high-energy, active lifestyle if thats your thing. If you enjoy dancing, playing sports, running marathons, rock climbing, or any other dynamic activity, Pilates can help you get better. After a few sessions, youre going to look better and feel better. In Pilates, youre constantly moving and completing reps, so youre gonna get your heart rate up and no doubt, youre gonna sweat. If youre looking for that Zen-like atmosphere you get from yoga, youre not going to find it with Boom Pilates. But if youre looking to get into shape and push your body to its limits, then Pilates can get you on the right track.

    Similarities And Differences Between Pilates And Yoga

    As mentioned above, Pilates and yoga are alike in many ways. Both exercises focus on breath, alignment, balance, strength and flexibility, i.e., both use the entire body . Nonetheless, here we mention a brief breakdown of Pilates and yoga differences:

    • Pilates is a resistance workout. It has a mat routine, plus exercises that need to be done on specific Pilates machines. Strengthen the stomach, improve posture, stabilize and elongate the core, and increase overall balance and strength are the primary purpose of Pilates. In addition, Pilates is a bit more fast-paced than yoga.
    • The ultimate purpose of yoga is to build a connection between self-consciousness and universal consciousness using physical activities. It means that this exercise can improve emotional and spiritual health through mediation exercises and activities. The repetitive movements of yoga are therapeutic and increase the flexibility and strength of the body.

    In general, the most remarkable difference between Pilates and yoga is the ultimate goal. It means that yoga helps you provide a meditative environment to promote your overall life quality, relieve stress and improve the body. On the contrary, Pilates forces you to increase body awareness and work from the core to have a stronger body.

    Pilates Vs Yoga: Definitions & Benefits

    Pilates is a physical exercise created in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates. It was developed during WWI to help soldiers recover from injuries by stretching, strengthening, and energizing specific muscle groups.

    Pilates has fewer but more accurate poses to follow the pilates principles proper alignment, concentration, precision, centering, control, flow, and breathwork.

    Joseph Pilates thought that physical and mental health are connected to each other, creating a full-body conditioning method.

    Similar to yoga, there are multiple amazing benefits of pilates. It improves your strength, flexibility, shapes specific muscle groups, and focuses on alignment and healthily growing your body.

    The true origins of yoga are unclear. However, this therapeutic practice can be traced back 3,000 years ago. This practice impacted some Eastern beliefs, like Buddhism and Hinduism.

    Its primary focus is relaxation, breathwork, exercise, proper diet, a positive mindset, and meditation.

    Awareness and deep breathing techniques are always present in yoga practice. While there are many styles of yoga, doing several poses and flowing through a series of movements is common in most of its classes.

    Yoga is a complete package activity. It combines physical and mental activity, which, if practiced correctly, is very therapeutic. It can improve your breathing awareness while increasing the flow of your energy.

    Open Leg Balance/boat Pose

    Pilates vs. Yoga: What

    Verywell / Ben Goldstein

    A core strengthener, this move is familiar to both Pilates and yoga students. Yoga might present boat pose with the legs together, and with or without grasping the ankles.

    In Pilates open leg balance, the legs are in a V shape and the ankles are held. The basic move, using the abdominals to hold the body in a V while perched on, or just behind, the sit bones are the same for both.

    This exercise brings up another general difference between Pilates and yoga which is that though there are some held poses in Pilates , Pilates generally keeps moving. Open leg balance is also part of Pilates exercises  and open leg rocker.

    Pilates Vs Yoga: The Key Differences And Benefits

    Yoga and pilates are both beneficial, and their variety allows practitioners to find a style that works best for them.

    Pilates and yoga offer multiple health benefits, with results including improved strength and flexibility. Both exercises involve mindful movements that support body weight and work various muscles.

    People interested in yoga or pilates are typically looking for a relaxing low-impact workout that offers beneficial physical changes.

    As the popularity of yoga and pilates continues to rise in the world of health and wellness, the confusion surrounding the difference between the two forms of exercise is also increasing.

    Heres what you need to know about the practices and which one may be best for you. 


    Yoga Vs Pilates: The Similarities

    Yoga and pilates both share a mind and body approach to exercise and health, in that having an awareness of your body how it feels, how it reacts is important to its health. This is reflected in the movements that yoga and pilates exercises emphasize. Yoga practitioners, for example, always say to hold poses youre comfortable with, or to modify a pose to your ability level. Pilates originated as a rehabilitative exercise and is about controlled movements. This is why its sometimes known as Contrology.

    Another similarity between yoga and pilates is some While yoga has five basic principles and pilates has six, the two overlap in the following principles: breathing, and flow/proper exercise.

    Breathing is essential for both exercises and one of the core principles for both. Although they take slightly different forms between yoga and pilates, both emphasize breathing as part of the sequence of movements or asanas . The principle of breathing aligns with the principle of flow and proper exercise. For both yoga and pilates, the movements are intended to flow or move into each other in a relaxed, but controlled manner. This is where the assistance of breath comes in.

    Are There Any Drawbacks To Pilates

    I don’t think anyone should avoid Pilates, says DeLuca. I do think that some people should be in private Pilates training with a seasoned teacher, while others would be fine in group settings. I always encourage people to do at least three private sessions before joining a group. One other caveat that she points out: There are also many different forms out there calling themselves ‘Pilates’ when they’re not the tried and true version, says DeLuca. Consumers should do their homework and find the right fit.

    Pilates Or Yoga For Runners

    If you are a runner choosing Pilates versus yoga, they both have their merits! Areas that can assist in running are the power of both to:

    • Build strength and stability
    • Teach mind-body connection

    These are all important factors for better running. 

    Due to these similaires, it’s sometimes difficult to choose between Pilates or yoga for runners, so lets look at some examples. Examining the effects of yoga exercises in distance runners, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published the results of a trial which had participants perform yoga and motivational shouting.

    The running performance of the group participating in yoga exercises improved significantly; yoga also had a greater effect on performance and motivation, than the motivational shouting exercises!

    Pilates is similarly ideal for runners. It is likely that runners who participate in Pilates training, endure a significant improvement in their performance, even aiding recovery and strengthening muscles. 

    Comparing Pilates vs yoga for running, its clear that either exercise would make a great companion. We recommend trying both, this way you can experiment with your own results.

    If you want to push yourself the extra mile, you can use one of the best yoga straps to help your poses.

    What About Pilates Vs Yoga For Men

    There are no limitations on who can benefit from both the physical and mental benefits of Pilates and yoga. Neither exercise is designed for a specific gender, which means anybody can take part and enjoy. 

    However, there is a common misconception that Pilates and yoga are for women, due to their principles or exercise movements being considered too easy or femininedue its nature of generally attracting more female participants.

    As weve discovered, this is not the case; so, dont miss out on the benefits these exercises can give you! You can adapt yoga or Pilates to lose weight, build strength and improve your wellbeing – goals that are sought after from all genders.

    The Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal published an article on understanding the barriers for yoga participation among men in Australia. 

    The barriers they identified included a preference for other forms of activity due to the non-competitive nature of yoga, bloke culture and masculine ideals on society. They also felt that yoga is often a female-dominated practice.

    In reality, both Pilates and yoga can assist in the performance of more aerobic and high-impact exercises, especially to recover and avoid injury to ensure you can keep on training. 

    If you are deciding between Pilates vs yoga for men, consider the key benefits we have outlined and try both!


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