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Yoga or pilates?

Yoga and pilates, pilates and yoga. They are both two types of exercise that can benefit almost everyone. Although many people consider them similar and they can be a positive force for your health, they have important and fundamental differences.


Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that originated in India, and it combines physical poses, called asanas, with breathing techniques (pranayama). It dates as far back as 5,000 years ago and intends to connect the mind and body by practising these poses, focusing on the breath and meditating. There are different types of yoga, with each having distinct intensities: ashtanga, vinyasa, hatha, yin, iyengar, kundalini and the list goes on.

Some of the benefits of yoga are:

  • It eases lower back pain and neck pain

  • It improves your balance

  • It enhances or improves your sleep

  • It eases stress and stress-related illnesses, such as tension headaches

  • It eases the pain of knee osteoarthritis

  • it helps with weight loss

  • It eases some symptoms of menopause


Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates, a German-born fitness specialist, in the early 20th century, who wanted to improve his health. Pilates involves stabilising your core and focusing on body awareness and control before going through the different range of motion exercises. Although some pilates studios use specially designed machines (reformer), you can also do pilates on a mat without any special equipment. 

Some of the benefits of pilates are:

  •  It increases your core strength to improve stability

  •  It improves your posture

  •  It improves your flexibility and balance

  •  It eases lower back pain

  • It improves your body awareness

  • It eases joint pain

Which one?

Yoga and pilates are both great workouts but although their benefits are similar, the movements, the breathing technique and exercises differ. Whether you have a health condition or not, always practise with a qualified instructor to determine what’s best for you. If you want to increase your strength and flexibility, pilates might be the better choice. If you want to improve your overall wellness and delve into spirituality, you might choose yoga. Still, much depends upon the particular classes available to you and the skills, style and qualifications of the instructors.

It's important to note that although yoga is of course appropriate for men, some men feel that they are not flexible enough for it. Certain poses have different effects on men and women, but both men and women can certainly benefit from practicing yoga. Pilates may have a similar issue attracting males, but it's helpful to remember that pilates was invented by a man and that Joseph Pilates developed many of its principles while working with male soldiers. 

So which one will you choose? Here's the great part: you don't have to choose! When it comes to whether yoga or pilates is better for you, it really all depends on your goals. The hardest part is starting, because once you’re on your mat and you begin moving and breathing, everything from then on is just a bonus. The more flexibility you gain from a yoga practice, the more range of motion you have in pilates. So there's no reason why you can't do both! Ready, set, roll out that mat!


If you're looking for a unique and different present for your loved ones, I have vouchers you can gift so that your family and friends can experience the benefits of yoga, pilates and/or fitness. Contact me here to make it happen!

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