YOGA vs PILATES: Are They The Same?


For anyone who is yet to try a Pilates or yoga class, they may appear as two sides of the same coin (in other words, the same), but allow us to enlighten you! While both disciplines have fantastic benefits for your mental and physical health, these two low-impact forms of exercise are very different. Here, we’re happy to share the differences and similarities between the two…

How they’re similar…

  • Engaging in either yoga or Pilates on a regular basis will help to improve not only flexibility, but also core strength, endurance and stability.

  • Breath work plays a big part in both yoga and Pilates.

  • According to research conducted by MindBody, clients who practice either yoga or Pilates (or both!) have reported a 70% reduction in their stress levels.

  • Doctors and physiotherapists will often recommend either yoga or Pilates to aid rehabilitation or help to prevent injury. (You can read more about how SmartFit can help with rehabilitation here).

What makes them different...

  • While yoga is a holistic practice that originates from ancient India, Pilates was devised by a German anatomist - Joseph Pilates - more than 100 years ago in the early 20th century. What he created was a revolutionary form of movement using a variety of targeted physical exercises.

  • Unlike yoga, Pilates can take place on various pieces of equipment including the mat, reformer, arc barrel, ladder or cadillac! Each one delivers their own benefits; be it adding extra resistance, challenging stability or offering a wider variation of exercises. You can try all of these at SmartFit - simply book into a Private Session or Group Class!

  • Quieting the internal chatter is fundamental to a positive yoga practice, as the individual flows through a series of asanas and inversions and aims to bring the mind and body into balance. In contrast, a good Pilates practice is all about focusing your attention on each movement and improving body awareness to ensure you’re performing each exercise safely and correctly.

  • Pilates exercises can be used to target specific problem areas of the body. Some of the most common concerns addressed by Pilates are poor posture, spinal inflexibility, muscular imbalance and injury recovery/prevention. Here at SmartFit, our highly qualified instructors are trained in Rehabilitative Pilates, so if you have an issue you’d like to discuss, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Contact us at or drop by the studio any time.

  • In yoga, each pose is held for a specific period of time, whereas Pilates usually involves each exercise being performed for a shorter duration with a focus on control and stabilisation.

  • The best part is, you don’t have to choose! Yoga and Pilates act as the perfect complement to each other as well as to other workouts such as running, tennis, golf or horse-riding.

Ready to give Pilates a try? Book in for a Private Session or Group Class at SmartFit now, and don’t forget to take advantage of our new client promotions ! Get 50% off your first class when you buy a block of 10! We look forward to seeing you in the studio soon.

Photography © Merrithew Corporation