Personal trainer: difference between Pilates Vs Yoga

Personal trainer: difference between Pilates Vs Yoga

Posted in pilates

Pilates was founded by Joseph Pilates  who felt that the connection between mental and physical health was of paramount importance. Pilates aims to strengthen the body as a whole to improve general fitness. This is done by focusing on the ‘core’. This term actually refers to the whole lower body from chest downwards. (However, Pilates does not exclude the upper body from working so this is often a misconception).

Pilates can be done on the mat or on a machine called a Reformer.  Pilates is for all ages and levels of ability as it is easy to adjust the exercises according to needs.

Regular Pilates practice helps to improve:



*Muscle tone

*Joint mobility

*Stress and Tension

As personal trainers, we have found that the biggest benefit of Pilates is that it helps to complement other forms of training whether you are a professional athlete or a beginner to exercise. If you have a strong core, the other form of activity is that much easier.

Some well known examples of Pilates exercise is “The Hundred”, “Scissors” and “Roll up”.

Yoga is defined as “a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation”, (Google: ‘what is Yoga”). Yoga involves two main components, postures and breathing and it is practiced on the mat. As with Pilates, Yoga is also great for all ages and fitness abilities.

Regular Yoga practice helps to improve:


*Flexibility (stretch)


*Depression and stress symptoms

We have found that the biggest benefit of yoga is to help lengthen the muscles of the body that in turn reduces the risk of injuries.

Some well-known examples of Yoga postures are: “Downward dog”, “Dancer”, and “Child Pose”.

It is clear that both practices have similarities in health benefits for wellbeing. However, the exercises themselves are very specific to each practice. There is no “Downward Dog” exercise in Pilates and conversely no “The Hundred” practice in Yoga!

We consider the main difference between the two to be that Pilates is more of a strengthening (of muscles) form of activity while Yoga is more a lengthening (of muscles) form of practice.  What is your view?

If you’d like to try either Pilates, Yoga or both, book a complimentary session with our top London personal trainers today!