Pilates vs Yoga

I was wondering if anyone here has done any Pilates? Did you like it? What were major differences. I know obvious ones, like yoga being more spiritual and meditation but wondering strength wise etc. I have been doing yoga, but read something yesterday saying if you have back problems Pilates might be a better choice. I think mainly because it strengthens core without the twisting stuff. I do have a problem with the twisty parts of yoga..

I should mention I have a lower back issue that causes pain my lower leg when it gets too tight. I went to physical therapy which helped a ton, but I did notice all the therapy was mainly working on strengthening core.


  • KellyUVA
    KellyUVA Posts: 255 Member
    I did pilates for a few years and liked it. It is focused solely on your core, so its not great for full body toning. I actually messed up my lower back because my form was off.

    If you do it, I would make sure the teacher is good!
  • Shan790
    Shan790 Posts: 280 Member
    I just finished a 10 week yogalaties class, half power yoga half pilates. And if you have lower back issues there is a lot of rocking on the lower back, I don't have lower back issues so the yoga part was fine for me but there were pilates moves I found very uncomfortable even with doubling up my mat. It is so hard to nail the form in pilates, I had a class of 8 people and if it wasn't for the instructor physically poking the muscle that should be engaged I would have been doing it wrong.

    And it is all core work I can't do a full class of it, I needed the yoga split.

    If you can try a small class I'd give it a go but would NOT recommend a you tube video or dvd, you need a good instructor to correct form.
  • hellsbells3272
    hellsbells3272 Posts: 128 Member
    I love yoga more than anything else. I do not like pilates!

    I do bodybalance which is mainly yoga, but there are 2 pilates tracks - both for the core and I hate them. The movements are slow and repetitive and boring. It does not flow. Yoga has larger movements, more internal and it FLOWS - that's the big thing for me. I like to feel I have moved before I hold a pose, and I HATE with a passion, small repetitive movements.

    I have done yoga with 4 different yoga teachers and styles recently, and I used to do pilates years ago - so I have done the purer form too.

  • liznotyet
    liznotyet Posts: 402 Member
    It depends on the student and the teacher almost as much as the discipline. Teachers who are good at explaining which muscles are being engaged, and the difference between strain (good) and pain (bad) can make or break a class for me. I have done both and have only gotten injured in yoga class because the teacher did not demonstrate any modifications and I thought I had to do it the same way as everyone else. Pilates teachers with a physical therapy or Feldenkrais background are better at customizing workouts for different skill levels and weak spots.

    I do like the flow of yoga very much and hope to get back to yoga class when I am both stronger and more flexible, but for now Pilates is more appropriate to help me establish that baseline strength.
  • odonogc
    odonogc Posts: 223 Member
    I used to do Pilates 2x a week, just to mix it up a little, but then I just ended up missing my yoga so much on those days, I decided to go with my heart and do yoga.
  • readthat
    readthat Posts: 136
    Thanks for the replies. I have done a little pilates at home (I know, not the best) and I have also come back around to yoga. I like it MUCH better. I just need to throw in some core here and there.

    I know yoga works core, but I am not sure how to build core with yoga. Since yoga uses core and mine is weak, I have to be really careful about straining the back.