To the beginner, both Pilates and yoga might look fairly similar, and there are many aspects of the practices that will work your body in similar ways. However, they are different in certain respects, and you will find that many people favour one over the other. So, which is right for you? In this article we’ll highlight the key similarities and differences, helping you to get an idea of which one you feel might be more your vibe.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise training designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and also enhance mental awareness.

What is yoga?

Yoga is a physical and spiritual discipline, practised whilst focusing the mind and breathing. It helps improve strength & flexibility and creates an all-round sense of wellbeing.

How are Pilates and yoga similar?

  • Both Pilates and yoga help to create a leaner muscle tone through their strengthening and lengthening exercises.
  • They can both help improve your mental health through the attention that is paid to the breathing throughout the practice.
  • Improvement in balance is also a great benefit of both of these exercise forms, your core muscles will be stronger, and you will gain stability.

Pilates versus Yoga - which is right for you?How are Pilates and yoga different?

  • Whereas both yoga and Pilates can be practiced on the mat, Pilates can also be taken a stage further with the use of the Reformer. The Reformer uses resistance bands and weights to add intensity to the workout. As well as really building strength, you can achieve a good cardio workout through its use.
  • Whilst Pilates workouts are either mat or Reformer-based, and are quite uniform in the class style, yoga has many different class styles. For instance, you have Hatha yoga, Bikram yoga, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini and many more. This means there is more variety available for you to try and one class can be completely different to another.
  • Pilates uses breath for its exercises, as does yoga. However, yoga practice can also have a keen focus on meditation and creating inner peace. It can, therefore, leave you with more of a feeling of wellbeing than a traditional Pilates class would.


It’s important to try both yoga and Pilates with a variety of instructors before settling on a decision on which is right for you. The instructor will really determine your opinion on what you like and dislike. Take a look at some of our fabulous yoga and Pilates instructors


Written by Becky Barrett.

Becky Barrett is a West-End and international stage, film and TV talent manager, with clients including cast members from much-loved shows Wicked and the Book of Mormon. Driven by her unique values of compassion and a holistic approach to talent management, Becky has devised an innovative solution to take on the fitness industry with a brand-new personal fitness concept that aims to inspire and boost ‘new normal’ approaches to exercise routines.