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Pilates vs. Yoga

Here at The Body Lab, we often hear clients weighing their low-impact fitness options and asking, “Which is better, Pilates or yoga?” Though we’re Pilates enthusiasts ourselves, our answer in this instance is always the same: one isn’t better than the other, they’re just different.

To begin with, the practices obviously have very different origins: yoga is a holistic discipline from ancient India, while Pilates is a physical system created by a German anatomist in the early 20th century. Through their own unique histories, today we can boil down the differences between these practices to yoga’s focus on stretch, versus Pilates’ on strength.

Yoga can also be great for toning, but because Pilates uses the reformer, the added spring resistance contributes more directly to strength-building than yoga’s body-weight movements. Pilates’ focus on core strength and stability is excellent for athletes or people with back issues, while those looking for increased mindfulness and flexibility may find yoga is the best match for them.

Though different in their own ways, Pilates and yoga also share many similarities. They are both sustainable and uplifting forms of exercise beneficial in building your mind-body connection: yoga helps the body to connect with the mind, while Pilates allows the mind to connect with the body.

Both can be lifelong practices because their low-impact movements are easy on the body and especially the joints. Unique props can be incorporated in either yoga or Pilates classes, but both can also easily be practiced on a mat at home with no equipment. And, most importantly, they’re both good for you! So whichever aligns more with your needs and wants, there’s really no wrong answer.

Whether you prefer the meditative nature of yoga or the core-strengthening perks of Pilates, both are wonderful practices to help you stay grounded, maintain strength, and take care of your most precious asset: you! Of course, if you’re still unsure which practice to pursue, you can always reach out, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out the right balance for your routine.




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