Is yoga and pilates the same

Comparison of Pilates and Yoga

Differences and similarities

In the following article we would like to make a comparison between Pilates and yoga, in which we present differences and similarities.

The terms Yoga and Pilates are often associated with the topics of relaxation, health and wellbeing. An upward trend can be seen in both types of relaxation, which is not least due to the fact that Pilates and yoga are recommended for every age group.

But what are they differences and where are possibly even Similarities, the so similarly understood types of training?

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Basic idea

The basic ideas of yoga include meditation, concentration, breathing and controlled movement. This tries to bring one's own body into harmony with the soul in a spiritual way.

Pilates, on the other hand, advocates the idea that a healthy body is created through a controlled and conscious execution of a sequence of exercises and thus a better body awareness arises.


There are differences between Pilates and Yoga in terms of their origins. Yoga comes from India and has been developing steadily from there for several thousand years. Today yoga is considered a science of life and a spiritual teaching.

Pilates, on the other hand, is a modern relaxation technique and was developed by Joseph Hubert Pilates during the 19th century. With the Pilates method as a full body workout, deep-seated, mostly weaker muscle groups are to be addressed and trained. This should contribute to a healthy and correct posture.


Another difference between yoga and Pilates can be seen in breathing. Abdominal breathing plays a central role in yoga. With this one breathes exclusively through the nose and it is used for meditation and relaxation. Breathing is a separate exercise in yoga, although in Pilates it is only understood as an individual rhythm specification.

Pilates teaches lateral chest breathing, which means that the student should breathe into the diaphragm. He does this by inhaling intensely through his nose and exhaling through his mouth. In Pilates, inhaling is used to prepare for the exercise and exhaling to perform the exercise with concentration on the core of the body - the powerhouse.


In the execution, Pilates addresses three points: awareness, exact dosage and perception. Concentration and control as well as precision and contraction are in the foreground in every exercise. Joseph H. Pilates calls this "Contrology", which means something like the teaching of the control of the body. Yoga is not that different from Pilates in this regard. In contrast to Pilates, however, it is not a training of strength and is therefore not referred to as a "sport" by many, but rather as a relaxation technique. Yoga teaches the students more different breathing exercises, physical exercises, deep relaxation methods and meditations in proportion. The teaching of yoga teaches much more about the spiritual understanding of mind and soul, which is not used in Pilates.

This may not least have to do with the long history of yoga as well as with historical and religious influencing factors.

Pilates trains the smallest, deep-seated muscles, such as the deep abdominal, pelvic floor and back muscles, and thus improves posture, mobility and body awareness. Yoga aims primarily to cope with stress, relieve tension and thereby promote health by achieving better physical flexibility.

Pilates and yoga both support coping with everyday life by attempting to enable transfer in everyday situations with both techniques. This is to create a generally increased sense of wellbeing.


Both yoga and Pilates pursue the goal of maintaining the health of the participant and also to train and improve body awareness. Yoga focuses more on relaxation and breathing, as well as spirituality, while Pilates tries to promote physical and mental well-being through physical contraction and mental concentration.

The mobility and the feeling for the own body are trained in both relaxation variants. Only the approach differs between the two relaxation techniques. Thus, the Pilates and yoga methods are a very good complement to each other.

Infographic differences yoga pilates

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