Pilates vs. Yoga: What’s the Difference?

“What is Pilates? Is it like yoga?”

This is, hands down, the number one question I get from people when I tell them that I teach Pilates. Both are considered “mind-body” exercises, and both can be mat-based. But that’s about where the similarities end.

To further break it down:

Remember, both Pilates and yoga are great compliments to any exercise routine. Anyone, young or old, already fit or trying to get there, can benefit from both of these fantastic exercises. So grab a mat and get started (remember, in your’re in the Northern Virginia/DC Metro area, you can always join me at XSport Fitness on Wednesday nights at 7:15 and Sunday mornings at 10:30)!

8 thoughts on “Pilates vs. Yoga: What’s the Difference?

  1. Good explanation of both practices. I replaced pilates with my ab work several weeks ago and love it. It helps with running, swimming and biking as it teaches how to tighten the core and strengthens areas often not focused on like the hips. My first session I was hurting in my abs in areas I never knew existed. I can already see how I stand straighter and my balance is improving.

    • That’s funny … I actually tell my classes they may discover muscles they never knew they had, and wake up the next day hurting in places they’ve never hurt before. It’s incredible how strong Pilates can make your core. Just like you said, the posture and the breathing carries over into everything else that you do (which means better form)!

  2. Thanks, Sarah– I actually was wondering about this. I did yoga some years back and it was wonderful– I want to get into it again. But I’m having trouble finding a class that fits into my schedule. It’s nice to see that pilates might also be an appropriate option– I can of course keep the peaceful philosophies of yoga in my mind as I practice pilates, too.
    –cousin Amy

    • Hi Amy! They’re both great! If you’re having trouble finding a class, see if you can find a DVD or check YouTube even – you could probably find something you could do at home when the kids are at school or in bed 🙂

  3. Thanks for the breakdown. I had started a Pilates class a while ago and discovered how weak the muscles were and discovered some new ones…
    Surely no surprise to you, but my lower back has been better since I kept up with some of the ab workouts!

    • It’s amazing how something that looks so easy can be so difficult, right? That’s why it’s great for you 🙂 I’ve had multiple people tell me that their chiropractors have told them to try Pilates for just that reason – it strengthens the abs and the back, so you get stronger and more balanced (especially since people usually focus more on their abs and forget about their backs – just like anything else, you want to balance out both sides).

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