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What is the Difference between Yoga and Pilates?

What is the Difference between Yoga and Pilates?

Pilates and yoga are both about balance, developing strength and flexibility and breathing techniques, but there are some key differences between the two disciplines.

Yoga has a more spiritual side to it than Pilates, and often the breathing techniques go hand in hand with relieving tension throughout the body. In Pilates the breathing is more about managing the oxygen getting to the muscles and helping them relax, rather than about mental wellbeing.

Both Pilates and yoga help to strengthen and tone, but toning of the abdominal muscles can generally be achieved quicker through the practise of Pilates as the exercises can be more intense.

Both disciplines can work wonders on those with back problems; however there are many poses in yoga which should be avoided and can indeed make the problems worse. Generally, Pilates stretches are all suitable for those with back problems.

Yoga concentrates mainly on the flexibility of the body, leading to more flexible joints, whereas Pilates concentrates more on the relaxation of the muscles.

Some yoga can be very meditative and focuses on the mind, with periods of stillness and focus. Pilates tends to be more about the body rather than the mind.

If it’s weight loss you’re after, the two don’t vary much. However, you are more likely to tone with Pilates, whereas with yoga you may well start to build new muscles from the strength poses.

Both exercises are great for relieving stress, and the best way to find out which one is right for you is to try them out.

the author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running ultra marathons. In addition to training for her epic runs she finds time for strength training, Pilates and Yoga. .