Pilates or Yoga… What’s Better?

February 2, 2023

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Empower PT & Pilates

Women doing a yoga pose. Is yoga or Pilates better?

Clients frequently ask me this question: “Which is better, Pilates or yoga?” The answer varies depending on your goals. However, for clients recovering from persistent aches, pains, or injuries, Pilates is almost always the preferred choice.

They are both great, but here’s why, as a Physical Therapist, I prefer Pilates and how I describe the difference to my clients…

Generally speaking, yoga is much more about holding positions to increase flexibility. In yoga, there isn’t a large focus on strength or stability.  This is great if your muscles are tight or if you carry a lot of stress and tension.

Remember that there is always a reason why we feel like we always need to stretch… muscles don’t just get tight for no reason. 

In contrast, Pilates is all about improving our posture alignment while finding and building strength and stability through all ranges of movement. And as a result, it improves flexibility while also giving you that long, lean, and toned body. 

Pilates builds core strength from the inside out and teaches us how to move our bodies on a solid foundation, thus making our movements stronger and more efficient. The more stable we are, the more protected we are from future injuries. 

And that’s the magic… When movements are efficient, joint stress is reduced, aiding injury recovery and prevention.

Yoga = flexibility

Pilates = posture and core strength (and injury prevention)

And if you combine Pilates with physical therapy? Talk about a recipe for success and everlasting relief from those aches and pains you can’t seem to get rid of. 

I do love yoga, don’t get me wrong. It has so many amazing benefits. However, if you practice yoga too much and become too flexible, it could have some negative consequences on your health and lead you to injury. 

Yogis often experience SI or back pain due to excessive flexibility without adequate support. Their bodies struggle to maintain efficiency, stability, and strength, resulting in increased stress on specific joints.

If you seek long-lasting injury prevention, strength, and addressing the root cause of tight spots—not just the symptom—Pilates is worth considering.

At Empower, we want to make sure you are confident in your choice. So if you’re interested in trying Pilates but still have a few questions, try us out first – for free!

Apply for a free 30 minute Pilates taster with one of our experts right now.

We can’t wait to get you started toward your goal of feeling young forever!

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