Pilates Versus Yoga: Which Is the Better Workout for You?

The purpose of Yoga is to create strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body.You seek the mind-body connection and core training that Pilates and yoga gives you, but which one is right for your body and goals? Core Fusion breaks down the differences and similarities when it comes to Pilates versus yoga and sheds light on which option is ideal for you. You may find the answer is both, finding complementary aspects of each set of exercises.

The Best Workout You Can Get

Ask any one who is a devout practitioner of yoga or Pilates and they will likely contest that their favorite form of exercise offers the best workout. Both types of exercise are known for establishing mindfulness and proprioception skills, along with strengthening core muscles and increasing flexibility. Could it be that both provide a similar workout and comparable results?

The answer lies in how you practice. And how you learn.

You could easily find a yoga class that teaches core strengthening better than your Pilates class or a Pilates class that is better about focusing your breath than the yoga you’ve been taking at the YMCA. The key is in the instructor and the general goals for the class.

Differences Explored

Although both types of exercise are based on lengthening and relaxing your body, key differences may align more with your specific goals.

Pilates has many variations. Some classes focus only on mat exercises with the use of an exercise ball and weights to add resistance. Others employ a stability chair and reformer machine to expedite the resistance training, like the classes offered at Core Fusion. All exercises are based on spinal alignment, breath control, and building core muscle strength for improved mobility, flexibility, and whole-body conditioning. Pilates also focuses on floor exercises (instead of standing) in short sets, such as 10 reps for each movement.

Your core is also worked considerably in yoga, especially when you try Core Yoga at Core Fusion. Also, focusing on using breath and mindfulness to enhance your core, the main difference between Pilates and yoga is that you hold your poses for longer in yoga and props are minimal. All you usually use, along with a mat, may be bolsters, blocks, or yoga straps to enhance stretches.

Best of Both Worlds

After you have hung around a Pilates and yoga studio long enough you start to understand that the best answer to the Pilates versus yoga debate is “both.” If you prefer the faster pace and heart-pumping reformer exercises that accompany Pilates, you might skew that direction. If you prefer more mindful and slower poses that you challenge your body to hold, you may prefer yoga. However, both types of exercise promote similar benefits (core strength, connectivity, relaxation, and breath control), making them a perfect duo for the ultimate fitness routine.

At Core Fusion, we provide both types of classes, making it easy to try both and see how they complement each other instead of one being the superior workout. For more information on getting a well-rounded fitness education, contact us today.