What's the difference between yoga and Pilates?

What's the difference between yoga and Pilates?

You've probably come across both of them frequently: yoga and Pilates. Sometimes, however, they are used side by side or interchangeably, or they are seen as one and the same. Completely unjustified, because although there are similarities between yoga and Pilates, they have their own origin and purpose. In this blog, we'll go deeper into the differences so you can make a good choice if you want to start with one of them, but are not sure which one.

Just to be clear: yoga and Pilates are not each other's competitors. You can practice both yoga and Pilates. They are both forms of movement that are aimed at becoming aware of your own body. Breathing and posture are the basis for both. So there are similarities between yoga and Pilates, but there are also differences. We'll list a few of these differences for you.


Pilates is a dynamic form of movement where the emphasis is on performing the exercises correctly. Yoga works from fixed postures and is mainly about finding the balance between body and mind.


Furthermore, flexibility plays a smaller role in Pilates. The ultimate goal of Pilates is strength building, and for that you only need a certain amount of agility.

In yoga, flexibility is much more important. The body must be able to handle certain postures and sometimes it takes a certain degree of suppleness. However, becoming more agile is not the goal of yoga.


Pilates largely aims to attain stability and to teach you how to connect different parts of your body. In yoga, this not so much the focus (with the exception of Critical Alignment Yoga).


Whether you choose yoga or Pilates – or both - there are many accessories that can support you in both forms of movement, such as a yoga mat, pilates ring, yoga block or yoga ball.


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