Jul 27, 2017

Yoga or Pilates? That Is the Question

Many of us know about yoga and pilates, but what they really represent and how they are different, that’s not a question many can answer off the top of their head. The basics usually come down to yoga being for relaxing and reaching your spirituality, and pilates helping you tone and strengthen your muscles. Well, actually, that’s all true, but also misconceived.  To the person deciding to practice one or the other, the differences may be important because of the results they want, manner of practicing and difficulty of exercising. So, let’s see how these two are to be distinguished.


As with every physical activity, breathing is important in both yoga and pilates as well. The breaths are directly connected to the motions you are making, but the difference is in the manner of inhaling and exhaling. During yoga positions or asana, the practitioner breathes only through the nose. The idea is to deepen the breath, increase the capacity of the lungs, relax the nervous system and prevent possible injuries to the body when transitioning from one position to the other.

In pilates, the practitioner inhales through the nose and exhales through the mouth. Also, before meditating or warming up, the practitioners use three-dimensional breathing in a standing position or sitting up. This type of breathing is intended to help achieve balance in the front, sides and back of the body, concentrating on the core – the area between the armpits and the pelvis.   

Whichever one you choose to practice, make sure that your instructor is a person well trained in the breathing practices of your chosen exercise, since the manner and timing of your breaths are very important for your body and mind.


Although this may depend on the person and usually is not that different, there are some recommendations regarding what to wear since certain clothes are appropriate for certain exercises. When it comes to yoga, the advice is to wear the types of clothes that stretch with your body and thereby allow you the freedom of movement and don’t interfere with your capability. People who desire to get in shape and tone their body tend to wear specifically designed clothes for that, such as LaSculpté yoga pants.

Pilates is more centred on a good fitness workout with the focus being on the core and spine, so any clothes good enough for the gym can be used here. But it’s important not to wear too much clothing to hide your body shape since the instructor has to monitor you for the correct performance of the workouts.

Also, natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo are good for the skin, but for that extra sweat you can use clothes with lycra. The colour, on the other hand, is completely up to you.

Equipment and machines for exercise

Depending on your health and preference, this item can be a defining one when you choose between these two. Both yoga and pilates use your body weight for the exercises and toning, but they also introduce some equipment in their practice for different purposes.

With yoga it’s minimal, using pillows and blankets to relax the body and facilitate the performance of certain positions. Pilates, on the other hand, uses small and big balls, rollers and dumbbells, as well as machines. So, if you suffer from osteoporosis or spine problems, it’s better to go to machine-based pilates or classes with small weights, and also to inform your instructor about your restrictions. 

When to choose which

You can take both yoga and pilates classes at the same time, but which one to prioritise depends on the state of your body, mind and desired results. 

If you’re stressed out and less flexible, choose yoga. If you are energetic and need to keep being active, then pilates is more suitable for you, as well as if you’d like to build up strength more than reach nirvana. There are different types of yoga and pilates which you can research or ask your instructor about, but for a start beginners’ and basic exercises will do.

When it comes to losing weight, don’t expect that just by doing one or the other, or both, will melt the fat away. A balanced diet together with the correct set of exercises should be a winning combination.


When it comes to physical activity, the biggest problem for people is usually to start exercising in the first place. Yoga and pilates, besides being good for the physical appearance, are also good for the soul and will pump up those serotonin levels so afterwards you’ll feel fantastic and positive, fully ready for new challenges.

1 komentar:

EliteWritings August 14, 2017  

I guess it depends on the goal you try to achieve. Pilates is more suitable for pregnant women as I know becasue it has lots of positive effects that are needed exactly for pregnant women. But from the other side, yoga is also good for pregnant...I think the right decision will be to visit both :)

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