Pilates vs yoga: Which workout is the right choice for you?


Yoga and pilates are both wonderful exercise forms to use in your daily life. 

If you’re looking to try a new workout but are unsure of which to choose between yoga and pilates because of their similarities, we’re here to help you make the right choice. 

From the outside, both forms of exercise look fairly similar in that you don’t necessarily need to use equipment, they are both calming and are low-impact workout styles. 

But, depending on why you want to do these exercises and what you want to achieve, they have different outcomes.

Have a look at our breakdown of each workout below and see the differences between the two sports so you can choose which out is for you.


Yoga originated thousands of years ago and is a holistic approach to exercise. Its main function is to unite the mind, body and spirit. It focuses on mental and emotional well-being, and spirituality as well as your physical health. 

Relaxation and breathing is a very important aspect of yoga, and there are different techniques used to promote concentration and energy flow. 

There is a huge variety of stretches and poses depending on the style of yoga you do. They target the body as a whole rather than specific muscles, and work on flexibility and balance. 

A yoga mat is often the only piece of equipment you need and this form of exercise is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. When practising yoga you will experience physical, mental and spiritual benefits. 


Pilates is a more modern workout compared to yoga as it was established during the 20th century. It focuses on physical strength, flexibility, and core stability in order to improve fitness levels. 

Controlled breathing is an aspect of pilates but not in the same spiritual way as it is used in yoga. As pilates takes a more disciplined approach to strength and physical movement, it doesn’t include the depth of spirituality and philosophical aspect like yoga does.

When practising pilates, specific muscle groups are targeted in order to improve strength, stability and controlled movements. 

Some pilates routines only require a mat, but oftentimes specialised equipment like a Reformer are used to carry out the exercise properly. Pilates is suitable for people who want to improve their core strength and posture.