Thanks to Iain L for asking this question… So, let’s look at the difference between yoga and Pilates

Pilates; noun ‘a system of exercises using special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness.’

Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the 20’s. He created a set of 34 equipment-based exercises designed to help him counteract a myriad of physical and mental difficulties in childhood. It worked, as when he became an adult he was an avid skier, diver, gymnast and boxer, despite being a ‘sickly’ child.

Yoga; noun ‘a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.’

Yoga is significantly older than Pilates, having began around 5,000 years ago in northern India. The first occurrence of the word ‘yoga’ was traced to ancient sacred texts called the Rig Veda, written in the Sanskrit which we still use in modern yoga classes.

It seems, according to the dictionary that Pilates uses equipment and is mainly for strengthening the body and its capabilities, and yoga is more of a spiritual exercise without equipment, aimed at relaxing the body. However, there are many forms of yoga that can be quite strong too…

My yoga and Pilates classes

While there are lots of similarities, for example the yoga and Pilates classes I deliver both work on strengthening and I do borrow some yoga moves outside of the Pilates 34 too, Pilates tends to focus on the core; it’s usually particularly good for niggly backs, and yoga focuses on moving with the breath.

The breathing is actually different in yoga and Pilates, as you breathe in and out through the nose in yoga and out through the mouth in Pilates.

Depending on which type of Yoga you do, Pilates can include more movement as the exercises are moving (think 100’s, double leg drops and rolling like a ball), rather than holding as in yoga poses (think downward facing dog).

I feel in my soul that Yoga is just ‘more’, but I do love them both. And only you can make your mind up which is your favourite. But the one similarity I do know is that you’ll feel better with them both in your life! You can book my yoga and Pilates classes up to 15 minutes before they start, on Gymcatch or on the website booking portal, where you can also purchase a package of block bookings. Or message me for a discount before booking if you’re a senior.