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Pilates or Yoga? What’s the difference?

Pilates or Yoga? What’s the difference?


Pilates and Yoga can seem pretty similar because they both focus on strengthening the body, promoting flexibility, and incorporating breath with movement. There are, however, significant differences between the two. Yoga focuses on breathing, diet, and meditation, while also aiming to align the body, mind, and spirit through unity, on and off the mat. Pilates, on the other hand, is a form of exercise that was developed primarily for physical benefits. Yoga is based on spiritual and meditative elements, whereas Pilates does not practice this during the workout.


Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy, we offer Pilates classes from beginner to advanced levels, and these classes are taught by one of our Chartered Physiotherapists. Pilates is safe and effective for most ages and fitness levels due to its low-impact nature. However if you are unsure if you are suitable for Pilates we offer a free assessment to check for suitability Pilates is a conditioning exercise that improves strength and tone through a combination of six principles:

  • Centering – This means strengthening the powerhouse and core muscles of the body, which include the muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, buttocks and back.
  • Concentration – This means that your full attention is on the form and execution of each exercise.
  • Control – Conscious movement under your own power.
  • Precision – Every movement has a purpose and when a movement is performed well a few times, there is no need to do more.
  • Breath – Moving in tandem with your breath, resulting in enhanced lung capacity, overall coordination and facilitating a stronger mind-body connection
  • Flow – Every movement in a Pilates exercise is performed with grace and ease of a dancer.


There are a variety of types of yoga, with each style catering for a specific purpose. Classes can be either upbeat and sweaty, or slow and relaxing, depending on the type of yoga that is being offered. Yoga can be helpful

Yoga can also improve your metabolism, which aids in weight loss. Yoga also increases joint range of motion which makes you less prone to injury. Yoga is also internally therapeutic too having the ability to improve circulation, and improve digestion.

You Can Combine Both Workouts

Both workouts use similar equipment and props, and Pilates focuses greatly on strengthening the core and can make use of equipment such as strengthening bands and weights. Pilates is also used for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Pilates can also help to prevent and allay back pain, whilst also improving overall spine health.

If you want to build strength and gain flexibility, both practices can help you out. More often than not, what you learn in one class will help you in the other.

Yoga classes are usually on for 75 to 90 minutes, whereas Pilates is only on for an hour. Yoga and Pilates complement each other well and they are both dynamic workouts that deliver tangible results.

If you would like more information about our Pilates classes, please contact us.


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