Experts Say: What is the Difference Between Pilates and Yoga?

October 12, 2023by The Line Method

Many people think of Yoga and Pilates as one and the same. The confusion isn’t surprising. Pilates isn’t a popular activity. Most gym goers would go for weight lifting or spin classes.

Those who are familiar with Yoga might also be aware of how similar it is to Pilates. They’re both low-impact exercises. They also put more emphasis on movements. You can also do both on an exercise mat. But the two exercises are different on a fundamental level though.

What is clear is both provide untold benefits. But which one is better for you? You should start by understanding what these exercises are and how they differ. Only then can you make a decision.

What is the Difference Between Pilates and Yoga?

You won’t be able to appreciate the difference between Pilates and Yoga if you don’t know what they are.

Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that emerged in India. It’s ancient as it was reportedly developed over 5,000 years ago. It uses physical poses and combines them with breathing techniques. The poses are also called asanas while the breathing movements are pranayama. You do an asana and hold it for several seconds. You’ll be focusing on your pranayama while you do this.

Pilates is a more recent development. It was an invention of Joseph Pilates. He developed it during World War I. Like Yoga, the exercise will have you moving into a specific position. You’ll need to stabilize your core first. Then you’ll challenge your core instead of holding the pose. You do this by moving through several range-of-motion exercises.

Both exercises have become more popular over the years. Yoga boasts 300 million practitioners around the globe. Yoga and Pilates are effective exercises that focus on the mind-body connection. While Yoga is about fluid movements, Pilates is all about precise control. It’s also done with several pieces of equipment. You’ll need a mat, benches, and reformers. Yoga is simpler though. You don’t need specialized equipment. But you do need a mat. Some classes even use bolsters, blocks, or blankets.

Which One is Harder?

Many people would say that Pilates is harder than Yoga. Pilates is the more intense workout of the two. It burns calories faster. Pilates practitioners would see the results of their hard work sooner.

There’s no definitive answer to the question of which exercise is harder. It’s because people have different definitions of what a “harder” workout entails. The intensity of the classes or workouts also depends on several factors. Your fitness level is one factor. The level of the class is another.

Which is Better?

Both Yoga and Pilates are great for your physical and mental health. It’s why people often have a hard time choosing between the two. But why pick one over the other? You can incorporate a bit of Yoga in your Pilates class.

That said, there are some situations where Yoga might be better than Pilates. For example, Yoga is a good choice for someone trying to manage their anxiety or depression. It’s because Yoga focuses on body and mind. The breathing exercises alone can help you relax. But when it comes to losing weight, Pilates is the better choice. This is due to the apparatus you’ll use. Most of these incorporate cardio in the poses. This lets you burn off more calories.

You should also consider your goal when choosing between the two. Pilates is the better option if your goal is to increase your strength. It’s also a good choice for those working on their flexibility. Yoga is best if you’re aiming to improve your health.

There are also some misconceptions about which one is more suitable to one’s gender. Both Yoga and Pilates are appropriate for men and women. But some men feel they’re not flexible enough for Yoga. The bottom line is both exercises are effective. You’re the only one who can tell which is more effective for you.

Building a Body That Lasts

You can move and feel better with The Line Method will show you how. We’re one of the top boutique training studios in Washington DC. We’re movement instructors who can blend different methods and approaches. We also believe a holistic approach to fitness is better. Our team will guide you as you build your strength and mobility. You can work with a personal trainer if you want. We also offer partner workouts and classes. Call us at 202-318-8801. You can also send us a message here.