For those not well versed in tree poses and 100’s, yoga and Pilates can sound like, well, exactly the same thing. Sure, they’re both aimed at strengthening and toning your body, but both have different practices and series of movements.

To help clear up the difference between these two forms of exercises, we got our two resident experts – Pilates pro, Steph Prem, and yogi, Kate Kendall – to explain it all.

Pilates
“Both yoga and Pilates are nurturing practices for your physical body,” says Steph. “They use movement to strengthen, stretch, tone and re-balance the body and mind. However, they come at it from different angles and both have different and complimentary benefits.

“Pilates was originally created to rehabilitate and maintain fitness and movement during injury, whereas yoga was created as a pathway into spiritual enlightenment. Yoga uses physical movement and attention to the breath in order to calm the mind into a meditative state. The fitness industry has now adopted yoga for its stress-relieving ability alongside gentle or challenging exercise, and has many popular offshoots and modern styles. Pilates is more ‘physically’ specific, as apposed to ‘mental and spiritual’ like in yoga practice.”

“In Pilates, you focus on controlling the core postural muscles and stabilisation therefore Pilates is great for injury rehab, back pain and joint pain. If your focus is more on ‘piece of mind’ and re-centering, yoga is probably better for you. Both practices attribute to strength, flexibility and weight-loss – it’s about tying both and working out what works and feels best personally for your body and mind. At Studio PP, my studio in Melbourne, we offer both yoga and Pilates because we believe in the overall wellbeing principles and benefits of both practices.”

Allow Steph to put you through the paces with this Pilates workout

Yoga
“Yoga is an ancient practice of which it’s main aim to quiet the active mind so that we can live from a place of presence and mental wellness,” says Kate. “Over time it has evolved and become and mainstream, physical practice that promotes greater body awareness, strength, mobility and physical health.

“It weaves together philosophy and movement to create a lifestyle – not just a form of exercise. Besides it’s history and original intention, yoga has more of an emphasis on mobility and meditation.”

Learn a few basic yoga moves from Kate in the video below