Yoga vs Pilates – Which is Best For Your Fitness Routine?

February 25, 2021

Ready to refresh your fitness routine but not sure which exercise classes to choose? This article takes an in-depth look at yoga vs. pilates so you can find the best class for your exercise plan! 

Yoga and pilates are some of the best classes to improve your flexibility and help tone muscle. While they are different, these classes can help you get fit. Of course, you may not have time to take both classes! So you need to look at yoga and pilates carefully before making a decision between them. 

Both yoga and Pilates will work for anyone. Either form of exercise can be tailored specifically to your needs and abilities. You may want to work with an instructor who can help make sure you have the proper form and offer adjustments as you require. This is the safest way to practice either yoga or Pilates. 

These classes will offer something for everyone. Even if you don’t think Pilates or yoga classes are for you, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the range of exercise available. But before you sign up for sessions, first decide what your fitness goal is. This will make sure you are in the right class.

What Are Your Goals?

Before embarking on any fitness regime, you need to determine what you are exercising for. Are you trying to be more active with a healthier lifestyle or are you trying to improve your body’s flexibility? Perhaps you are hoping Pilates or yoga can help relieve pain or stress? Great news, exercising can help with any of these things! 

But to be sure that you are choosing the right exercise, prioritise your goals. What is the main reason you are seeking to exercise?

Weight Loss

Both Pilates and yoga are considered low impact exercises. This makes them a great fit for anyone trying to get into exercise and reach a healthy weight while still being gentle on joints.


Although both exercises will condition your muscles, Pilates training focuses on core and muscle strength. In contrast, yoga will improve the flexibility of your muscles. So if you are looking to get stronger, you’ll want to take a Pilates class.


Many yoga poses focus on how you move your body. As you continue with the practice, you’ll see vast improvements in how your body stretches, moves, and reaches.


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You’ll also focus on moving your body smoothly between poses, which can also improve flexibility

Relieving Stress and Improving Mental Wellbeing

Yoga has the upper hand with this fitness goal. Many of the poses focus on your mental state as well as your body. You’re given time to reflect and focus on your breathing.

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Injury Recovery

Both Pilates and yoga can help you get back on track after an injury. Yoga focuses on stretching muscles, but Pilates is designed to rehabilitate. Working with a trained instructor and the advice of your doctor you’ll be able to create a comprehensive plan that helps you stay fit and heal after an injury.

Yoga vs. Pilates – What is The Difference?

Yoga and Pilates are both very popular exercises right now. Since they are low impact, people of any age are welcome to try them. Both practices offer to improve your flexibility, muscle control, and endurance. And with a regular routine, you’ll see real benefits for your fitness level and wellbeing. But what’s the difference between them?


Both Pilates and yoga will give you a great low-impact workout. They focus on toning and improving your muscle condition, an important factor for exercise. Either work well with more intense cardio exercise, or even when paired up to give you a focus on your core, your flexibility, and your state of calm.


Made up of small movements that will work out your muscles and core, Pilates concentrates on your core muscles. This helps you build strength and improves your body’s flexibility and tone from this point out. Yoga classes spend time on whole-body stretching and flexibility. This wider focus can be suitable if you are looking to see improvements in your body’s flexibility right from the start, instead of focusing on your core with gradual adjustments.  


The first big difference is that yoga has a meditative spiritual element that Pilates does not.


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Yoga classes will focus on mental balance and health, something many of us need! This makes it the perfect way to relieve some stress by adding meditation into your life.


Pilates is a system of exercises designed for muscle toning and building strength. It requires discipline, first to stick with the practice but also to make sure the exercises are done correctly. Most require repetition for best efficacy. This offers a structured workout that is a lot like other workout classes but without the intensity. Yoga, on the other hand, is led by an instructor with a variety of moves that may be organised differently with each class you take!  


Since Pilates uses a set system, there isn’t as much variety in the sessions. You can pick a certain move to work through, but you are limited to these set moves. With yoga, every class can be different! Plus, there are many different types of yoga to choose from that give you further variety. You could sign up for a gentle class or do something more challenging if you want a challenge!

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Yoga vs. Pilates – Benefits

Start up a regular exercise plan and you’re sure to enjoy these great benefits, no matter which exercise you choose! But if you want to see certain improvement in one area, choose that type of exercise for the best results.


A popular physical activity, yoga is proven to have an influence on your mental wellbeing as well as your body. It will help inspire relaxation and help you live stress-free. It also teaches you how to meditate and breathe properly, both of which will help you even outside of your yoga classes.


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And of course, yoga is great exercise. It’s proven to tone your muscles and make your body more flexible. Yoga can even be tailored to suit your fitness level whether you’re a beginner or ready for something advanced, making classes a great option for everyone.


With regular practice, Pilates can transform your body. It’s well known for its physical benefits, such as increasing your strength and endurance. Over time, it improves your flexibility and posture and can even lead to better balance! You’ll be able to carry yourself more comfortably too.


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Pilates can also be beneficial in helping you deal with things like joint pain or injuries. Often recommended for those suffering from arthritis, the attention paid to your core muscles and an increase in flexibility makes this a perfect exercise. Of course, you may find Pilates to be more or less effective, especially if you suffer from certain conditions or pain. Keep this in mind to ensure you are exercising safely.

Which is Better for You?

Selecting the right exercise program is a very personal decision that is influenced by your goals. If you have set goals, you can use this information to guide you in your choice. Remember, although Pilates and yoga can help improve how you feel, they are not exactly the same routine with the same benefits.

Which is Better for You

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Sometimes, it may not be obvious as to which is the best choice for you. If you aren’t sure, ask your instructor if they offer an introduction class, so you can get a feel for what each form of exercise will be like. Explain your goals to your instructor as well. Based on these they can provide you with expert advice on how both forms of exercise can benefit you.


Now that you know the differences between yoga and Pilates, you are set to make your decision! No matter which class you choose, be confident in the knowledge that you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle. If you still can’t choose though, don’t sweat it! You can take both types of lessons!

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