Yoga vs. Pilates: What’s the Difference & Which One Is Right for Me?

August 06, 2020 by PureWow

Interested in yoga or Pilates? If you’re looking for a new workout that’ll leave you sweaty and centered, these are two of our favorite low-impact options. But what’s the difference? And which one is right for me? Before braving a reformer or booking your next ClassPass session, here’s everything you need to know about yoga vs. Pilates.


Yoga is a nearly 5,000-year-old discipline that originated in India and is rooted in ancient Indian philosophy, Dani Schenone, a Mindbody holistic wellness expert and certified yoga instructor tells us. Though it’s often referred to as a soothing form of exercise, yoga is so much more than a workout. “It’s a spiritual, mental and physical practice that incorporates a set of eight prescriptions (or limbs) that help us lead a more purposeful, fulfilling and conscious life,” Schenone explains. The eight limbs are all-encompassing and reflect the interactions between the mind, body and spirit. Asana is the one you’ve probably heard of most. Asana is the physical practice of yoga, the down dogs, the happy babies, the poses and postures you try your best to hold during class. Those who practice yoga view the body as a temple of the spirit and therefore value the care that’s put into maintaining it. The other seven limbs, however, are just as important and are one of the main principles that differentiate yoga from similar physical exercises, like Pilates.

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