Yoga and pilates have a lot in common, but there are a few key differences as well. These involve the focus and the history of the two practices.

Different Focus 

Yoga focuses on a wide range of muscle groups and flexibility. It offers endurance, balance, strength, spirituality, and lots of physical movement. Classes can be tough and sweaty or gentle and nourishing. With all the variety, there is always a style and class for everyone regardless of skill level. If you like being active and you’re a go-with-the-flow type character, this practice would be a great choice.

On the other hand, pilates emphasizes strength, body control, and muscle toning, with the main focus being core strength. This discipline must be practiced regularly to offer health benefits. It would be a good option if you like a more structured workout without chanting, cardio, or difficult postures.


Yoga predates pilates by millennia. It was first practiced over 5 millennia ago in India with the purpose to connect the universal and individual consciousnesses. Together with positions, simple meditation, and breath control, yoga improves mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The repetition of the postures and the attention to the details helps quiet and appease the busy mind while building power and flexibility.

Pilates is less than a century old. It was founded by Joseph Pilates around 1925. Physical rehabilitation was the main reason people used it at the beginning. The main purpose is to strengthen the core, as mentioned, but also to improve posture, develop balance and overall strength, and stabilize and elongate the spine. Pilates has been dramatically modified over the past few decades. Notwithstanding this fact, its main purpose has not changed.

Which is the Best for Me?

Try both and see what will work better!