Yoga and Pilates: What Are The Differences, Exactly?


It’s a common question, and if you are a Pilates or Yoga instructor, it can become quite annoying.   Even as I was researching this blog, it seemed as though every blog was heavily editorialized.  You could very much so tell if the writer was pro Pilates or Pro Yoga. I will try to be Switzerland.


Here Are The Five Major Differences Between Pilates and Yoga:



Both Pilates and Yoga have a strong focus on breath, but they have a very different take.


In Pilates…

The breath is drawn laterally into the lungs. The lateral breath allows for abdominal connections to still be maintained on the inhale.

The breath is drawn in through the nose and out through the mouth.

The breath focus is designed to help specific muscle connections to challenge or assist the movement.


In Yoga...

Yoga breath is drawn in and out of the nose whilst filling the belly.

There are many different types of breathing techniques said to have great effects on the mind and spirit.

The breath is designed to assist on a spiritual level.


Spiritual, Meditative and Mind/Body Connection:


In Pilates…


There is no spiritual connection offered per say.

There is a strong focus between the mind and body in regards to correct technique and breath pattern, but not a specific meditation.


In Yoga…

The movements are rooted in spiritual and meditative practice. This is one of the major bases of this practice.



Yoga is over 5,000 years old.

Pilates is just a baby at 100 years old.



In Pilates…

The environment is more or less quiet with gentle background music.

Some traditional techniques encourage no noise at all (I am personally a loud breather).


In Yoga…

There are classes that  include chanting and affirmations.


Which one do you know more about? What do you feel are the major differences in how you feel after the respective classes?