Pilates is a low-impact, whole-body fitness system that helps improve your strength, stability, and posture. Like yoga, Pilates focuses on breathwork, balance, and flexibility while moving through a series of standing, seated, or prone postures.
Pilates may be practiced on a mat, or with a reformer, and uses body weight resistance to tone every muscle group – with a particular emphasis on core strength.
Pilates and yoga are often put into the same category. While it’s true that there are many similarities between them (they are both mind-body practices that offer low-impact exercise), they are two distinct practices.
Here are just a few of the differences between Pilates and yoga:
History: Yoga developed in India and has over 5000 years of history. Pilates is quite new in comparison, having been created in the early 1900s.
Ethos: Yoga is a much more spiritual philosophy, whereas Pilates focuses more on your fitness and physical health benefits. The physical is only one of the “eight limbs” of yoga, which also includes breath, self-discipline, ethical standards, meditation, and achieving a bliss state.
Style: There are way more styles of yoga than Pilates. In Pilates, you have Classical and Contemporary styles, which can be practiced on the mat, or with a Pilates reformer. Yoga, on the other hand, has Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, and many more styles.
Practice: Pilates classes incorporate more strength and resistance training. While yoga classes certainly strengthen and tone your body, the focus and goals of the practice encompass much more. Some yoga classes are dedicated solely to relaxation and finding your connection to your breath.
If you like structured workouts (but aren’t a fan of cardio), and are hoping for a practice that is as relaxing as it is intense, our online Pilates classes are for you! During a Pilates class, you can expect to experience:
When you join one of our Pilates classes, you can expect to start with a series of warm-ups and move into progressively more difficult positions that challenge your core, arms, legs, and back.
Come prepared to break a sweat with planks, squats, and lunges, while incorporating soothing breathwork and relaxation techniques. Our highly trained Pilates instructors can help you modify positions as needed to accommodate your health and fitness levels.
There are many benefits of regular Pilates practice, including:
Try one of our online Pilates classes with an experienced instructor. Your first 14 days are completely free.
Pilates was developed by the German gymnast Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. He believed that mental and physical health were closely intertwined, and he started Pilates as an exercise program for injured dancers and soldiers.
Joseph moved to the USA in 1923 and opened a Pilates studio in New York. While it was used mostly by ballet dancers until the 1990s, Pilates took off as a mainstream practice in the mid-2000s.
This will be a very personal decision. Many people love practicing both yoga and Pilates classes, so we urge you to try both and find the right balance of classes for your practice.
Some people prefer yoga because it has so many styles to choose from, and incorporates an entire spiritual ethos into your practice.
Other people prefer Pilates because it’s more active and strength-focused. It can also be great for people who are recovering from injuries – as that’s literally what it was developed for!
If you want to focus more on stress relief, mindfulness, and flexibility, start with yoga. If you want to focus more on toning and strengthening, start with Pilates. Or simply mix both!
Most people can benefit from Pilates classes. Pilates exercises can be modified to be more gentle or challenging, so it’s a very flexible form of exercise. In addition, Pilates is low impact and focuses on proper form, so it’s safe for people with joint issues.
In particular, Pilates is wonderful for people who suffer from arthritis, lower back pain, or knee injuries, as the focus on core and thigh strength may help mitigate symptoms.
Pilates may not be recommended for you if you have a herniated disk, severe osteoporosis, or a high risk of blood clots. If you are concerned, please check with your health professional before starting your Pilates journey.
Because Pilates strengthens your muscles, it can contribute to weight loss. Having extra muscle can help to boost your metabolism and burn more calories.
That being said, Pilates is not classified as an aerobic exercise. If you are hoping to lose weight, you will experience the best results when practicing Pilates in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular cardio (like walking, cycling, or swimming).
We always advise you to consult with a medical professional before beginning any workout or fitness routine, as they will know how to recommend the best options for your unique needs.