In the world of mind-body forms of exercise, there is a bit of a divide: PILATES aficionados and yoga devotees. “Which one is better?” people often ask me. Generally speaking, both workouts do many of the same things, yet pilates students will swear by PILATES and yoga students are adamant about yoga. While yoga and Pilates embrace a lot of the same principles, read on to learn more about the notable differences. Plus, we’ll share a few tips on how to decide which one may be better for you.
What is the difference between Pilates and yoga?
Pilates and yoga both intend to improve the overall wellness of a person, taking into consideration the mind, body, and spirit. However, the original intentions of the two practices vary as yoga was designed for spiritual development and Pilates to optimize the mind and body for modern living. However, modern-day adaptations of yoga, which focus more on improving well-being and reducing stress, leave the two appearing very similar.
Your experience practicing either method can vary greatly depending on the instructor you choose and their approach. However, generally speaking, yoga tends to be less physically intense and more focused on pushing the limits of your flexibility while Pilates focuses more on building core strength.
Read on to learn more about the common similarities and differences between Pilates and yoga.
Key similarities between Pilates and yoga:
- Both practices are performed barefoot.
- They both focus on balance, centering, strength, alignment, flexibility, and breath.
- Both require you to be present in mind.
- They involve the use of a mat.(unless you do Pilates on the equipment)
- Both have set poses and moves.
- They engage the mind (body-mind connection) and the entire body.
- And they are practiced either in a class or a private setting.
Key differences between Pilates and yoga:
- While the majority of the moves in a pilates class are practiced laying down, in yoga there are a good amount of standing poses.
- The PILATES cueing is emphasized on the core, while yoga pushes you to the tolerable flexibility.
- In Pilates, the sets are short 3-5 maybe 8 repetitions while in yoga you hold poses and breathe.
- Pilates is also practiced on specific equipment, with the intent of using resistance to increase strength, while yoga often focuses on specific breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation.
- An average 60-minute yoga class will burn between 145-250 calories, while an average 60-minute pilates class burns between 175-375, with the most calories being burned in an advanced class.
- The original intention of the yoga practice was spiritual development, while Pilates aimed to create a state of being fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.
Is Pilates or yoga better for me?
While Pilates is often more about the core strength and yoga is more about stretching, in reality, they both have these components when done properly. What it really comes down to is a few things: finding a good teacher in either discipline and your preferred yoga or Pilates style. Additionally, consider whether you would like to focus more on the spiritual intent that yoga offers or on optimizing yourself for day-to-day modern life through Pilates. Both practices have their unique benefits and they can also be complementary when practiced together.
At Tiziana Trovati, we believe the body is not just a machine we use daily; it is something we must nurture and comfort so it can provide us with the wellness we all desire. By combining Pilates and yoga, we help to bring a new understanding to the whole-body wellness movement. If you still have questions about either practice or would like to try one in our beautiful home of Tamarindo, Costa Rica, contact us today.