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 difference is, yoga was awful for my wife's bad back whereas pilates was really good for it.
I've always been a bit uncertain about yoga, being male and not exactly shaped like the lean ascetic type. Perhaps I should give it a try?
this is interesting! I tried yoga but have to say that the spiritual stuff put me off (hard not to laugh...) I also thought pilates was too gentle when I was younger, but now it is great for the older aching bones.
Yoga definitely benefits me, and I like the fact it tones me up. Pilates just doesn't move around enough to make me feel worked out.
With no real interest in anything spiritual I've always thought yoga couldn't be for me and never been able to decide about Pilates. The additional toning benefits of Pilates interests me though so I'll have to see if my gym has a class.