Yoga Vs. Pilates Difference – Which One Works For Your Posture?

Yoga and Pilates are the two most popular forms of toning exercises.

Both of them use the body to complete the movements and yet they still have their own different philosophies in terms of health.

Understanding better the similarities of each form is also helpful for us to decide the best one for a home exercise.

Let’s explore more about Yoga vs. Pilates difference and find out which one is right for you?

Image photo: A trainer is practicing yoga on a blue colored gym mat

Yoga And Pilates In General

The word ‘Yoga’ originated from the ancient Sanskrit word ‘ Yuj’ which translated as Universal consciousness. Its origin can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago in Northern India.

Its practitioners have doubled so much in recent years with over 300 million worldwide, mostly from India, considering the origin of its birthplace. In the US alone, Yoga practices reached over 55 million practitioners in 2020.


New to Yoga but don’t know how to begin?

Keep reading my other blog on What Are The Basic Yoga Poses For Beginners


Meanwhile, Pilates, a more modern version of Yoga, also recorded rapid growth ever since it evolved over 100 years ago. This is especially very popular in western countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Its method called ‘Contrology’ was based on the muscle controlling the movement of the body and the apparatus.

Yoga and Pilates practices are so popular these days and keep growing, that even the biggest celebrities in the world like Madonna, Beyonce, Hugh Grant, and Emma Stone endorsed them for greater physical health and well-being.


Thinking of getting into Pilates workout?

Keep reading my other blog on Pilates Exercises For Beginners


What Are The Difference Between Yoga Vs Pilates?

Many people find it difficult to decide which one is the best for them.

In fact, they are often considered very similar, but they are really not!

To know the key differences between these two friends is important for you to choose the best low-impact workout at home.

1. Purpose.

Yoga’s purpose is to connect a human’s consciousness to the universal consciousness.

With simple meditation, postures (asanas), and breath control, Yoga helps to improve mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical, while building strength and flexibility of the body.

Pilates’ main purpose is developing and balancing the core, stabilizing the spine, and overall better posture. Its practice is not as ancient practice compared to Yoga.

2. Degree of focus.

Yoga is more for stretching and flexibility approach movement. The mind’s consciousness is expanding more through body movement.

As mentioned, Pilates exercise is more focusing on developing core strength, increases flexibility, and has good integration of body/mind components.

Although Yoga also focuses on the core strength but with lesser efficient movement mechanics compared to Pilates.

3. Lifestyles.

Yoga is more of a spiritual and meditation form of practice through a series of poses. Focusing on your mind like breathing techniques helps to reduce stress if continuously practiced in long term.

Pilates on the other hand does not involve any spiritual forms. It is a much younger version of its friend and was initially created to treat injured athletes.

 

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4. Equipment-wise.

Yoga practice uses only an exercise mat, although beginners may need some minor equipment like straps, blankets, or foam blocks for proper alignment and balancing of the body.

Pilates workout does not necessarily use an exercise mat, although the use of body-weight exercises equipment like weight, resistance bands, pulley ropes, or Pilates reformer machine to help for better alignment and improve inconsistencies in the body.

5. Body feeling.

Yoga practice concentrates more on flexibility in its many types of asanas through stretching and twisting movements. Towards the end of a yoga session, your body feels relaxed and loosened.

Meanwhile, Pilates is more of a toning exercise, with movements that help to build the core muscles and strengthen the spine. At the end of the workout, especially for newbies, maybe experience some sore muscles and be slightly high on adrenaline.

6. Time of movement.

Each of their moves poses, and time spent holding them are quite different.

Which one holds longer poses than the other?

Yoga takes a longer time in order for you to fall deeply into a particular pose. Plus, there are repeating flows of each move.

That’s not the case for Pilates practice which does not hold poses and repeats in sequences in the same session. Its movement is shorter with a few repetitions focusing on control and precision. Once a movement is done, you will move to a very different movement.

However, do take note that both of these practices, when performing a pose, are having the same focus on alignment, techniques, and breathing.

Are Yoga And Pilates The Same?

Up until now, you may be still contemplating choosing either one.

How about the similarities between Yoga and Pilates practices?

We need to know as it helps you to decide wiser which works best for you.

1. Mind sharpness.

If you are having problems remembering something due to stress, both practices give a peaceful state of mind for a moment, which in turn helps to (#Ad)improve the mind’s clarity. Regular practices will enhance the energy level and relieve stress.

2. Flexibility of the body.

They are a complete system of exercises, focusing to build body core strength, which is to balance, stretch, and breathe effectively. No matter what age you are, the ability to handle basic daily chores at home independently, Yoga, and Pilates could be your top choices.

3. Easy breathing.

Both are helpful in a person’s breathing by correcting the respiratory system and improving circulation. Those who have asthma problems may consider these practices (Note: Recommended seeking with your healthcare expert before jumping into it). Both exercises incorporate breathing into their philosophies.

 

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4. Getting moving.

Low impact and low-intensity exercises are the key similarities of both. So, it is very easy to start from your home, moderately.

Absolutely without stress on the bones or risk of injury if you perform the poses correctly. You don’t even need any equipment for a start, just your own bodyweight will do.

No intense super workout with high pumping adrenaline!

5. Injury or immobility.

A great way to improve overall flexibility and balance of coordination due to immobility or injury in the past. Both Yoga and Pilates practices will lend a great help here.

6. Everywhere, anywhere.

You can perform these exercises, literally everywhere and anywhere.

Just roll out the exercise mat and begin at your home, a calming and quiet corner of your bedroom, extra room, or living room. Perhaps get a DVD as a guideline to start with.

Which One Works For Your Posture?

There is no specific answer to this.

Both are popular as they are.

As I mentioned earlier, they are super low-impact and low-intensity forms of exercise.

Yoga is more flexible and stable focused while Pilates is about strength and stability movement.

Some practitioners use Pilates to regain balance in their life after going through some physical or emotional damage. It helped them to rehabilitate well.

While spiritually, some perform the Yoga practice as a form of service to assist people with special needs or mental health-related matters.


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Yoga and Pilates are muscle groups targeted in that you cannot find in other forms of exercise. You may experience some muscle pain after ending either one of the sessions, even if you are an active sportsperson. Surprised?

So, which discipline is a better choice to start?

Basically, it is all about your own personal preference.

It breaks into two types – the ‘creative’ people should go for yoga (it gives you more freedom) and those who have a ‘logical’ mindset will go for Pilates.

I hope I have answered your questions here!

NEW Era Of Yoga & Pilates As Combo Workout

Even though yoga and pilates have quite some differences, their similarities are the reasons why both are possible to be combined together as a combo workout.

Their exercise principles such as breathing techniques, concentration, and balancing are quite similar to each other.

Both forms emphasize a lot of proper breathing when performing a pose. This is to connect physical exertion with the focus of the mind which leads to a stronger body and lesser stress in the mind.

They are kind of ideal for each other as a combo workout, but how?

For example, you perform the Pilates workout for the abdominal muscles build up. Once finished, you can also apply and improve your Yoga poses. It is like complimenting each other.

 

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My Overall Verdicts On Yoga vs Pilates Difference

The contribution to the success of both forms of exercise is due to the fact that people are more aware of Yoga and Pilates’ well-being in helping to reduce their stress levels, although its benefits also depend on your type of body and overall emotional level.

Through their excellent exercise philosophies, you can even integrate them into your regular exercise routine, to attain a high level of calmness, peace, and mental and physical fitness.

Whether you are considering beginning with either one or both from your home, in the end, you need to make a wiser decision to choose which one of these toning exercises works best for your goal, strength, and body.

Leave me a comment below if you have and I will reply within 24 hours.

Have A Great Workout At Home!

 

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