Pilates and Yoga: Which One is Best for You?

Pilates and Yoga: Which One is Best for You?

Pilates and Yoga are both excellent workouts that have the potential to be perfect well-rounded forms of fitness if done correctly and instructed by an experienced and thoughtful teacher. These two workouts have their differences as well as characteristics that make them alike. Pilates and Yoga focus on alignment, balance, strength, breath as well as flexibility. However, Pilates is quite different from Yoga in where it’s practiced ( either on mat or machines) and the speed at which it’s taught and performed. Yoga is better for flexibility and relaxation, while Pilates helps with toning your core. Therefore, to find out which one suits you perfectly, you may test different classes, studios, and styles. 

In addition, Pilates and Yoga are known for their numerous health benefits, such as relieving stress, cardiovascular health benefits, offering connection to the body, and developing flexibility, strength, control, and endurance. Generally, there are numerous interpretations of these two disciplines, but what actually connects them both is breathwork.


Pilates and Yoga, Pilates Reformer, Balance, Pilates

This incredible workout originated from Joseph Pilates (during the end of World War I), and it was majorly used as rehabilitation for wounded soldiers. It was then introduced to the United States in 1923, where he spent years refining his approach.

Below are health issues Pilates may play a part in resolving;

  • arthritis
  • urinary incontinence. 
  • respiratory conditions
  • joint injuries
  • back pain

Health benefits of Pilates include;

  • balancing strength and endurance with mobility
  • improve flexibility and posture
  • lead to better balance
  • result in decreased joint pain
  • strengthens the deeper muscles of the core.
  • improves movement patterns

See some other health benefits of Pilates


Yoga, Legs, Girl, Sports, Yoga, Yoga

This is an ancient practice that has roots in shamanism, Buddhism, and other Eastern religions. It’s believed to have originated in India around 3000BCE and has started with the very dawn of civilization. Yoga is centered around the following five beliefs:

  • exercise
  • breathing
  • proper relaxation
  • diet
  • positive thinking and meditation


The key features of Yoga practice are mindfulness and deep breathing. There are different known types of Yoga styles, and the style a person chooses often depends on their expectations, level of physical agility, and state of health. It combines mindfulness and physical activity, and this brings increased awareness to the breath and energy.

Furthermore, Yoga may have positive effects on medical issues like;

  • depression
  • arthritis
  • anxiety
  • multiple sclerosis
  • high blood pressure
  • chronic pain
  • type 2 diabetes
  • respiratory conditions

See some of the

health benefits of Yoga.

equipment you can use for Yoga

best Yoga mats today.

Pilates and Yoga similarities

Mat Pilates and Yoga can be done with few pieces of equipment. They require only the use of a mat and a few additional gadgets such as a Pilates ring or block, if necessary. Both workouts focus on using the breath properly during exercise and emphasize diaphragmatic breathing or breathing deep into the belly. In addition, they both require mental focus and can help reduce stress, and can also be tailored to different fitness levels.

So, which one is better?

Pilates and Yoga are great forms of exercise for your body and mind. One isn’t better than the other, but you might prefer one to the other depending on your fitness goal and disposition. To some people, Pilates can be less intimidating than Yoga as most people don’t like the flow and transition portion of Yoga because it’s too challenging for them. Yoga has different props and modifications to make it accessible to people of different varying fitness. Yet, most people shy away from Yoga because of its deep stretching( as stretching is difficult for some people), so they sometimes prefer Pilate because of the machine assistance and strength work. 

Furthermore, most yoga exercises require mobility and flexibility of the joints ( especially the hips, spine, and wrists). There are many different styles of Yoga, including restorative Yoga, Acro Yoga, and Chair Yoga but finding what works best for your body is the key. Mat Pilates is excellent for most people though it can be tasking for those with decreased mobility or poor core strength. In addition, Pilates is expensive because most of the time, you may need one equipment or the other. Proper teaching and performance of this exercise are crucial to avoid injury.

In conclusion, if you have any health conditions, it’s best to consult an instructor to determine what’s best for you between Pilates and Yoga.

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