Yoga vs Pilates: Which Practice is Better for You?
July 12, 2023
Are you a Pilates person or a yoga person? If that question has you shrugging your shoulders, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the differences between the two practices.
Our goal is simple: we want to help you understand the benefits of each option, and how to integrate both into your well-being routine, if you like or choose the option that suits you better. If you’ve tried both yoga and Pilates but can’t make up your mind, you’re not alone. The good news is that you don’t need to decide. Continue reading to find out why.
What’s the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?
Yoga and Pilates have many things in common. Both are incredibly beneficial practices for almost everyone. Both can improve your flexibility, fitness, and overall well-being. But there are a few important differences.
An Ancient Practice
Yoga is an ancient practice that traces its roots back to India. Its popularity has grown significantly in Western culture over the past decades. It’s easy to think of yoga as one practice, but it wouldn’t be doing it justice. Those who have been practicing for a while know that there are many different kinds of yoga. If you’re just starting your yoga journey, it’s worth trying different styles to find out what benefits you the most.
Yin Yoga is a slow, relaxing, and restorative practice. On the other hand, vinyasa yoga focuses on flowing from one pose to another, often at a relatively steady pace. Our All Level Flow classes at Uptown Yoga accommodate beginners as well as seasoned practitioners. However, if you find the pace is faster than you’d like to practice, check out for our Slow Flow classes. They’re just as good for you, even at a slower pace.
A New Approach
By comparison, Pilates is a newer practice. Pilates traces its roots back to Joseph Pilates and the early 20th century. Born in Germany, Joseph developed the practice to overcome childhood asthma and other health problems. His techniques helped WWI soldiers interned in the UK.
When he returned to Germany after the war, his exercise system found favor in the dance community initially. However, when government officials asked him to teach his methods to the military, Joseph Pilates decided to leave Germany for good.
He took his ideas and practice to the U.S., and the rest – as they say – is history. Today, there are two types of Pilates known as reformer classes and mat classes. Reformer classes utilize machines with spring resistance. Mat classes generally only require a mat and use your body weight for resistance.
Another notable difference between yoga and Pilates is their overall focus. Yoga integrates mind, body, and soul. Pilates is driven by a greater emphasis on an efficient workout. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive approach to mental and physical well-being, you may prefer yoga classes or a practice that combines elements of both.
Should I do Yoga or Pilates First?
It’s up to you! Some people feel a little hesitant about the mindfulness and breathwork aspects of yoga. For most new yogis and yoginis, this is something they become familiar with as they start practicing.
Think of it as growing into a different mindset you use to approach your day. Also remember our team of instructors is always happy to guide you on your journey, answer your questions, and help you get the most out of your practice.
Like yoga, Pilates is a low-impact practice with numerous benefits. Which of the two you start with really depends on your personal preference. Yoga and Pilates also complement each other, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do both.
What Happens if You Do Yoga Every Day?
If you’ve never tried yoga before, the thought of doing yoga every day may feel a little daunting. Don’t worry, we get it! We all started as total beginners at one point, and there’s no need to go from never having practiced yoga to attending classes every day.
How about committing to a class or two per week instead? On the other days, you could always spend a few minutes practicing your favorite poses or the most challenging moves of the class. Dedicating a few minutes every day to your yoga practice will show noticeable results very quickly. Your flexibility and mobility will increase, and you’ll find it easier to concentrate. Many Uptown Yoga clients also benefit from better sleep and lower stress levels.
How Can I Combine Yoga and Pilates?
Still unsure whether yoga or Pilates is the best option for you? Don’t worry, there’s no need to choose. Our Strictly Core classes combine postures and moves from both practices, so you get the best of both worlds.
The classes are perfect for beginners, but our instructors will also challenge advanced practitioners by working the entire core. If you didn’t know already, there’s more to strengthening your core than having a six-pack! By training your glutes, hips, shoulders, and abs, Strictly Core increases your overall stability. It’s a great way of preventing injuries and helping you feel stronger overall.
If you have an established practice and want a few new ideas, consider booking private yoga classes. Our team will tailor your sessions to your needs, integrating yoga poses and Pilates moves if you like.
Give It a Try Today!
Are you ready to discover the benefits of yoga and Pilates? Join a Strictly Core class at Uptown Yoga today or contact us to talk about how we can help you improve your mental and physical health, fitness, and overall well-being. We’d love to hear from you!