Yoga or Pilates?

Blog by: Sulagna Das

We often choose to go for either of these classes to maintain our physical fitness instead of the pain inducing intense workout regimes. While some of us women are confident about yoga or pilates, some of us still struggle to understand the difference between the two. And hence, it is difficult to decide which one would suit us better.
Well, struggle no further cause I will clear all your doubts about Pilates and Yoga in the next few minutes with the help of the following major features of both of them:

  • Origin: The practice of yoga originated 5000 years ago in India and has evolved into different forms over centuries, through various cultures.
    Pilates is a much newly formed practice, which was started in the mid-20th century by an athlete named Joseph Pilates. He created the exercises for better rehabilitation and strengthening. It can be said that the routine has been made popular over the years by dancers around the world to improve their performance.
  • Mind, Body and Spirit: Spirituality is a huge and significant part of yoga, especially through meditation. It maintains a constant balance between mind, body and spirit. People suffering from depression or anxiety should turn to yoga for better results.
    Pilates focuses more on the body and helps keep to retain a connection with the mind.


  • Breathing techniques: In yoga, breathing helps you to achieve relaxation. Several movements and postures are coordinated with pattern of deep breathing. Segments called pranayama are solely dedicated to breathing.
    In Pilates, you breathe in through the nose and exhale through your mouth. It aims at providing enough oxygen to relax the stress from your muscles.
  • The actual routine: Yoga focuses on an all body workout, paying attention to all your muscles equally. For each posture, there is a counter posture to keep a balance in your body.
    Pilates is more about strengthening the core and spine. Abdominal muscles are more focused on, thus a flatter stomach is easy to attain. Individuals with back pain are also suggested to try pilates than yoga.
  • Flexibility: Yoga is more effective in gaining the flexibility of the body and the joints.
    Pilates is more about relaxing the tense muscles and strengthening them rather than flexibility.


  • Weight loss: When it comes to burning calories, yoga doesn’t show much of a difference. It focuses more on staying fit and regulating the system processes of the body and mind.
    But practicing Pilates might help you lose a few additional calories by using machines which adds the cardio element in your postures.

Now that you know how the picture is, what I would suggest is: the best way to figure what is good for you is to try out both! Yoga and Pilates are equally enjoyable and helps you in gaining muscle strength, flexibility, gets you into shape and relieves stress.
Please consult your doctor before attempting any of the above if you have a medical history of surgeries or injuries.