Pilates vs. Yoga - how are they different and which one is right for you?

When walking into our studio the first thing people want to know is what types of classes we have. And as they glance around the room commenting on the scary looking contraption known as the Reformer, they often ask - what is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?

Short-Spine is one of the reformer Intermediate exercises.

Short-Spine is one of the reformer Intermediate exercises.

Although there are many things that can link Pilates and Yoga, mainly using your body and breathing on a mat. Here’s a few big things that separate them…

  • Yoga doesn’t use equipment except for small props.

  • Pilates has a sequence of movements which, when performed classically on the mat does not require any props-similar to Yoga. However Pilates also has a whole set or large equipment including the main large three-REFORMER, CHAIR & TOWER SYSTEM which all work with metal spring resistance to support and challenge the body.


  • Yoga is a spiritual philosophy as well as a movement and breath practise-Asana and Pranayama. Experienced Yogis practise all the elements of Yoga including Sanskrit as much as the movement and breath.

  • Which differs from Pilates, although holistic is not spiritual practice.

A bit more about Pilates and us.

Pilates teachers can be classical or contemporary, depending on whether the school they trained with sticks closely to the original method of the founder, Joseph Pilates. At The Movement Studio, we have trained in both classical and contemporary Pilates.

So which is right for you?

We at The Movement Studio feel that people have different types of bodies and capabilities. Especially when new to starting a movement technique. So our first interest lies in the biomechanics of human movement, looking at the alignment and mobility.

Both Yoga and Pilates teach good healthy movement. If you are very flexible or hyper-mobile you may benefit from starting with Pilates, working more from a stability aspect and then joining a Yoga class once you have more awareness and support. And likewise a very tight person can benefit from Yoga to focus on mobilising and relaxation in combination with Pilates to get the body to move more aligned and freely.