Yoga or Pilates – Which One You Should Choose?

Pilates vs Yoga

Both yoga and pilates have exploded in popularity in the last few years. Everywhere you look new yoga and pilates studios are popping up. With such high popularity for both forms of exercise, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your lifestyle.

So, to help you figure out whether you should hire a yoga teacher in Hackney or opt for pilates lessons we put together this handy comparison. Keep reading to discover how the goals and types of exercises themselves compare between these two routines!


Let’s start off by looking at how the goals of a yoga and pilates class compare.
A yoga class’ primary purpose is to create a connection between mind, body and spirit. The intention of this is to create a sense of harmony with one’s self.

During the lessons, this connection is strengthened by combining the movements of postures with breathing exercises. In certain yoga variations, your yoga teacher for hire will accompany these breathing exercises with chanting.

In contrast, the primary goal of a Pilates class is to strengthen your muscles and in particular, your core. Like yoga, Pilates does incorporate some breathing exercises.

However, the primary goal of this is to send oxygen to your muscles rather than deepening a connection between body, mind and spirit.

Essentially then, the goal of a yoga class is to find harmony between body, mind and spirit while the focus of Pilates is to create core strength.

Type of Exercise

Along with the different goals of these two approaches comes two unique ways to perform these exercises as well.

During yoga class, the majority of exercises focus on flexibility and balance. While some classes do also incorporate exercises that can strengthen your muscles, the main focus is nonetheless flexibility and balance. So, the postures and poses that you will move through during class will reflect this.

Alternatively, in Pilates class, the exercises are shaped by the focus on strengthening core muscles. Instead of engaging in flexibility exercises as in Yoga, during Pilates lessons, the majority of the exercises will aim to activate your core muscles.

When you are trying to figure out how to choose between the two, a good strategy is to consider whether you want to improve your flexibility or strengthen your core.

Beyond just the exercises themselves, the respective levels of cardio that both exercises have is another factor to consider. While you can work up a sweat in either class, not all classes in either yoga or Pilates will have the same level of cardio activity.

For instance, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power yoga classes move quite quickly. The cardio component of these three types of yoga is much higher than a Kundalini class which focuses on breath work and chanting.

The cardio levels in Pilates classes can also differ depending on the instructor. Some instructors may choose to incorporate bursts of cardio into a routine while others may focus solely on the exercises themselves. Due to these variations, it is a good idea to consult with your Pilates instructor on how they choose to incorporate cardio in their classes. This will give you a more well-rounded idea of what to expect.


Both Yoga and Pilates classes can have a beneficial impact on your health. They both introduce physical activity into your daily routine and can also help to reduce your stress. So, it is understandable if you are still having difficulty choosing between them.

If you are having quite a bit of trouble choosing, then why not try out both types of classes? Many yoga and Pilates studios offer introductory lessons to give you an idea of how the class will flow. Who knows, you may even decide to incorporate both exercise practices into your regular routine!


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