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  • Mary Stocker

Pilates vs. Yoga-What's the Difference?

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

One of the most frequently asked questions that I hear as a Pilates instructor is, “What is the difference between yoga and Pilates?” Most people believe that yoga focuses more on flexibility and meditation while Pilates works on strengthening the core, but this varies greatly with style, equipment and the individual teacher. Yoga has multiple styles that are all practiced on a mat, and Pilates has multiple pieces of equipment where the exercises are practiced. The most important factor in deciding what class is best for you is the instructor. The instructor’s background and training play a crucial role in the way that the class is taught and what each individual is able to get from the practice. Even within the Pilates community, an instructor who is classically trained will teach much differently from an instructor who is not classically trained. Instructors may also have varied backgrounds-some started in yoga and went to Pilates, or vice versa and may have more of a mixed style. Being a physical therapist before I was a Pilates instructor, I personally focus more on injury prevention and function. The most important thing is for each student to find an instructor and a style that fits with their health and fitness goals, so it’s a good idea to try out several classes before you decide on one!




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