Pilates vs. Yoga

admin Personal training, Wellbeing / MindBodySoul

Pilates vs. Yoga

Pilates and pilates-vs-yoga-imageyoga get tarred with the same brush. As a Pilates instructor myself this can become frustrating. Please don’t misunderstand me as both have their place but they are structurally very different.

There are many positives to both but first let’s begin with Pilates; not just for the injured, it can provide a solid grounding for any sports man or woman, non-athlete, your grandma, your dad. Pilates sometimes gets a bad reputation for being boring or perhaps slow.  However, when performed correctly it becomes enjoyable to feel the length in your body and the ability of your body to move better.

Initially Pilates looks to address underlying structural imbalances in the body, which if left ignored can create on-going pain and difficulty with movement. Whilst assessing movement the whole body is considered rather than focusing entirely on the site of pain.

Yoga is a different method entirely; the practice of yoga helps to co-ordinate the breath, mind and body to encourage balance, both internally and externally and promote feelings of relaxation and ease.  In the West, the most widely taught form of yoga is Hatha Yoga. Yoga classes offer students postures and movements to stretch, strengthen and flex the body, to develop breath awareness, to relax and sometimes to meditate. Some classes may be low impact while others can be very demanding.




Improves flexibility and mobility

 Overextension can lead to injury/ Can encourage hypermobility

Increases lung capacity

Can be expensive

Reduces  stress levels and promotes good sleep

Not all poses can be practiced by everyone

Classes are often over packed and therefore attention to detail can be missed

Improves concentration

Finding a teacher who has been certified by a reputable school can be timing consuming. Be choosy!




Helps establish a central control and overall strength

Makes limb movements mechanically strong and efficient

Not a calorie burning workout

Improves joint stability and lengthens muscles / increases flexibility

Requires a high degree of concentration

Proven rehab option

May not get the advantages of rehab in a class, opt for 1-2-1

Improves body awareness, posture, balance and breathing depth/frequency

Suitable for beginners – requires less flexibility than yoga

When deciding which you should build into your routine, assess your personal situation. Do you have any niggles that have been bothering you for some time? Do you have an injury or a restriction that’s causing an effect on your day today routine? If yes then head towards Pilates. Invest in at least one on one session to understand the basics and get you started. No injuries or niggles but feeling the burden of work stress? You might want to give yoga a try.


Sara Elizabeth Adams – PS Trainer, Masseuse, Pilates and Casual writer!