Yoga and Pilates: What’s the Difference?


Last month’s “Bob’s Bones” info sheet dispelled the myth that Yoga and Pilates are the same thing… Consequently, people have become curious as to what the differences are, and which suits them better! So here’s a brief guide to which discipline offers what benefit, where they differ, what they have in common… And how they complement each other!


Keep in mind that there are many different Pilates and Yoga exercises! We’re generalizing here to help you get a better idea of what’s what. Broadly speaking, each discipline:
• Tones your body
• Needs concentration: they’re both Mind / Body systems
• Increases your flexibility
• Helps your body alignment and posture
• Encourages you to focus on breathing
• Emphasizes Core Stability and Spinal Mobility


Often has more of a holistic, spiritual focus
The instructor remains quiet a lot of the time
Incorporates standing, sitting & lying down
Is done on mats… And at the beach or park!
Classes tend to run for 60-90 minutes
Increases your sense of well-being & range of movement

Often has more of a fitness / recovery focus
The instructor gives more directions
Incorporates standing, sitting, lying down or even jumping!
Novices can start on machines, then move to mats
Classes tend to run for 60 minutes
Strengthens your ‘core’ muscles & lower spine; it’s great for posture!

Finally, Pilates tends to work with movement-based stretches and positions; Yoga tends to involve more holding of poses and stretches.

Pilates complements Yoga because it…
Increases your core strength and allows for better balances, transitions and inversions
Helps prevent injuries especially in the back and knees
Gives you a stronger body
Improves your body posture for Yoga – especially good if you ever feel twinges in the lower back!
Finally, Pilates make you more body aware and lets you more easily & safely come into the correct posture alignment for Yoga.

Yoga complements Pilates because it…
Brings a more spiritual element to your regimen
Reduces stress through relaxation & breathing techniques
Improves digestion and cleanses the body
Enhances your mood
Yoga also helps regulate the body’s endocrine system. This is responsible for hormone production, which profoundly affects how you look, sleep and feel

Main Benefits

Relieves stress
Improves sleep
Detoxifies your body
Increases inner peace
Heightens awareness
Improves posture
Creates strength without bulk
Builds core strength
Increases energy
Aids recovery

So there you have it! As always, we’re on hand to give you more advice on Pilates and Yoga whenever you come in to see us here at Back in Shape! You can also drop us a line via the usual addresses and numbers: [email protected] and 020 8655 1664. See you soon!