Pilates is our specialty here at SweatHB. We often hear people questioning the difference between pilates and its cousin, yoga. On the surface it may appear as though these two types of exercise are slight derivatives of each other, but there are a great deal of differences. SweatHB is here to give you a little bit of insight into what differentiates these great sports and why one might be better for you.

The Basics

Let’s start with our distant relative, yoga. Yoga has roots in several far east belief systems such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Pilates, while still a long-standing exercise tradition, has only been around since the early 1900s. This exercise method was founded by a former WWI German soldier named Joseph Pilates, who came up with the idea while conditioning during the Great War. Yoga is based on the idea of centering and flexibility, while pilates was developed as an all-around body conditioning program, especially meant to help wounded war veterans supplement their rehab. This distinction is fundamental to the rest of the differences between the two.

Flexibility or Strength

An obvious similarity between these two exercise regimens is their shared foundation of stretching. Yoga uses stretching to boost the overall flexibility of the body with contortion and pushing ligaments and tendons to their limits. Doing so will certainly lead to an increase in strength and is more of an all-body targeting workout. This is extremely positive when applied to other sports and activities. Flexibility means that the body is more inclined to twisting, turning, and contorting. Yoga can contribute to a sharp decline in bodily injuries.

Pilates, in contrast, tends to rely more on strengthening the body, which leads to increases in flexibility. Pilates will give you a strong increase in core strength, as well as noticeable flexibility in the posterior chain. With pilates, a boost in the core will lead to increases in numerous other athletic endeavors due to strength and torque benefiting from the mid-section muscles.

Mental Approaches

Yoga is often used as a form of meditation. It is meant to bring the user a sense of inner peace and calm. Pilates, in contrast, was developed with the idea of mental and physical toughness, as well as the connection between the two. Yoga utilizes this as well, but also introduces a spirituality concept. With that in mind, the approach of how these classes are conducted will vary greatly. Yoga classes tend to be more serene and quiet, with a soft-spoken instructor guiding you along the way. Pilates, on the other hand, can range anywhere from quiet and peaceful to loud and intense. Pilates offers participants the chance to be a bit more social and have a bit more of a motivated workout than yoga may provide, while yoga can be a kind escape and chance to recenter oneself.

So, yoga and pilates share similarities, but also divert in some big ways too. The team here at SweatHB would love to have you come for a pilates class and see exactly if it’s the right one for you. Take a look at our class schedule and stop by for your first class today!