How YOGA is different from PILATES?

There is no denying in the fact that Yoga and Pilates are extremely beneficial for body and mind. Both of them share a lot of similarities yet are quite different from one another.

But do you ever find difficulty in finding which one is perfect for you and wonder does the choice actually make any difference?(I mean obviously other than those expensive equipment that you have to buy for pilates.) and which one should you should go for?

Does that extra investment helps you to achieve your goals or does it all goes in vain.

Pilates and yoga are both low intensity and low impact exercises that are based on bodyweight resistance but yoga focuses more on flexibility while pilates mostly focuses on strength.

Yoga does not only focus entirely on body but also the mind and spirit. On the other hand pilates involves various exercise machines and helps in toning body.

But this is just the gist of the differences between these two highly beneficial exercises.


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Yoga has its origins from India and is a holistic discipline ,it not only focuses on your body but also focuses on finding mental harmony and works on improving spiritual health as well.

There are a total of 84 asanas at present time that ensures physical activity and mindfulness. Yoga is a sign of moral and ethical conduct and self discipline.

Yoga has its effect on the nervous system and helps in releasing stress because of its quality of not only involving your body but your breath and your spirit as well thus it helps in calming the nervous system. Mediation is a major part of yoga.

Nothing can beat yoga when it comes to increasing flexibility, it stretches muscles in a way that the body does not hold any tension.

Yoga also helps in various medical issues like arthritis, depression, anxiety etc.

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Yoga includes total eight fold paths which are called ashtanga (eight limbs) that are – Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara,  Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. These deals with ethical standards, discipline, spirit, breath, introspection, concentration, meditation and ecstasy.

One can not count the positive effects of yoga, the list is endless. It helps in decreasing stiffness, improves posture, develops muscle strength, reduces stress, increases mindfulness, increase circulation and all this is just the top of the iceberg.


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The main objective of pilates was physical rehabilitation when it was first introduced during world war by Joseph Pilates mostly for injured soldiers to help them in rebounding physically however it does have its effect on mental ability too since it works on mind body connection too. It requires deep concentration to do a few poses and hold them which helps in increasing ability to focus.

Pilates are extremely slow paced, targeted exercises and its aim is to strengthen core, control breath and flexibility.

It tends to be slower than yoga and can be modified very easily, because it generally focuses on rehabilitation which makes it a better option for beginners. Modifications can be done according to the requirement and abilities.

Pilates are said to have six elements which when combined together benefits a lot. Those six principles are- concentration, control, centering, breathing, flowing movement or rhythm and precision. 

However pilates do require a mat and few exercise machines for some exercises that  uses spring, levers etc such as cadillac and reformer. Addition of these spring machines makes pilates a bit easier to perform.

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Even though the movements are very slow pilates are extremely helpful in toning body, improving postures, elongating spine and strengthening core since it provides high intensity body workout.. 


Both of them focus on alignment, balance, breath, strength and stability. Practising any of these has not only physical benefits but also mental benefits. However few differences certainly make them have their own effects thus giving birth to the question ‘ Which is better: Yoga or Pilates?’

Well, the answer definitely lies on your requirement

Seeking spirituality

If you want to add that tint of spiritual awareness to your workout and want to improve your overall quality of life Yoga is best for your. However one can perform yoga even after eliminating the spiritual part of it but this is one major thing that sets Yoga apart from Pilates.


Beginners should generally go for Pilates because of its slow pace it is easy to catch techniques and as  mentioned above it can be modified accordingly thus making it a better option for novice.


There is no harm in saying Pilates is a better option when it comes to toning muscles. Even though both yoga and pilates can help in toning, pilates is a faster method.


Yoga focuses on releasing stress along with improving body. Yoga helps in anxiety and depression as well with its controlled breathing technique that helps in proper oxygen circulation.


If the area of concern is flexibility, one choose yoga since yoga aims at improving flexibility of joints over time. Stretching is the focus area of yoga, Yoga is all about stretching and holding poses thus it ensures flexibility.

So obviously your area of concern affects the choice of exercise.

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