At Absolute Pilates, we offer both Pilates and yoga classes, so we often get asked about the difference between the two. While it’s true that they are quite similar, these workouts are different enough that most people have a strong preference for one over the other.
Here we’ll take a look at the key differences so that you can decide which type might be best for you.
The Core Differences
Pilates and yoga are both full-body workouts that focus on improving strength, flexibility, balance and breathing. However, Pilates focuses on the strength aspect, while yoga usually focuses more on flexibility and breathing. Most of the time when you’re in a Pilates class, you’ll be on the ground. In a yoga class, you’re more likely to be switching from standing to ground work, depending on the style.
Another key difference is that many people choose to practice yoga as part their spirituality. Even if you don’t choose to do that, you will still find most yoga classes are meditative and help you focus your mental energy on your goals. Not as many people consider adding their spiritual practices to Pilates, which tends to be more intense. Plus, Pilates involves counting reps and keeping track of sets, which doesn’t leave as much room to think.
You can learn even more about the differences between Pilates and yoga by reading about the specific kinds of classes we offer.
We offer several different Pilates classes which all offer something a little different:
- Osteo-Pilates: If you’re looking to add a little of that yoga flexibility and balance into your Pilates class, this might be right for you. While the class is designed to decrease the risk of fractures for those with Osteoporosis, anyone can participate and reap the benefits of better balance and bone health.
- Stretch and Lengthen: This class also focuses on stretching more than your average Pilates class but has fewer bone health benefits than the Osteo-Pilates class.
- Matwork Challenge: If instead you want to lean into the benefits of Pilates and improve your strength and endurance, this class will challenge you and even boost coordination.
- Mom and Babies: After you give birth, you might be drawn to Pilates because of its focus on the core muscles, which need to recover and strengthen after your pregnancy. This class allows you to bring your little one and is a bonus bonding experience for both mom and baby!
Our yoga classes focus on those benefits that yoga does best, including breathing, focus and flexibility.
- Hatha yoga: When most people think of yoga, they imagine Hatha yoga. It teaches beginner poses and focuses on breathing and calming to reduce cortisol and improve your focus.
- Restorative yoga: This class is designed to align your body and mind with slow, purposeful movements that activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The benefits include lowered blood pressure and heart rate, lessening chronic pain and anxiety, and increasing oxygen levels in the blood.
There’s much to be said for the benefits of practicing both Pilates and yoga as you need both strength and flexibility to be healthy. If you’re ready to sign up for a class, feel free to register here.