Yoga Vs Pilates

Why write an article about pilates?

It may seem odd, A chiropractor, publishing an article about pilates. On the outside it seems like a slightly ‘hippie’ subject for a clinical organisation like a chiropractors to write about. But delve a little deeper and the reasons why become clear.

But, when we recommend pilates to our clients, friends and family, there is always some confusion as to the difference between pilates and yoga, with some people even using the terms interchangeably. While this isn’t necessarily harmful, in some instances it could be counterproductive to what we are trying to achieve.

What’s the difference between Yoga and Pilates?


Yoga is an ancient Indian practice which has been in use for around 5,000 years (some researchers claim to have even found evidence of it being used 10,000 years ago!). The basic idea of yoga is to connect practitioners individual consciousness with the single universal consciousness through physical activity. This means that Yoga is very much a meditative activity, as much as it’ a physical one.

There are various forms of yoga and it has recently surged in popularity in the west, certain forms of it has been ‘westernised’ to an extent. The traditional ‘paths’ of yoga are:

  1. Raja Yoga
  2. Bhakti Yoga
  3. Jnana Yoga
  4. Karma Yoga
  5. Mantra Yoga
  6. Hatha Yoga

Each with their own practices and aims. This means that they are executed at different tempos with different levels of difficulty. Some are much slower and gentler and are more aimed at relaxing the body and being meditative, others are more physical in practice. But, as mentioned, Yoga has been westernised to an extent and now there are innumerable ways of practicing yoga. From Bikram Yoga, done in extremely hot and humid environment, to ‘deep house’ yoga, carried out in exclusive venues.


By comparison, Pilates is much younger than Yoga, as it was developed in 1920s by a German health practitioner, Joseph Pilates. He originally developed the practice while being detained at an internment camp on the Isle of Man. As a knock-on from this, it was originally practiced and used on German soldiers returning from World War 1.

Pilates in Leeds

As opposed to Yoga, at its heart pilates is a rehabilitative practice, and was developed to help treat people with health conditions. The main goal of Pilates is to strengthen the stomach, improve posture, stabilize and elongate the spine and develop balance and overall strength. Pilates also uses machines to help achieve this, compared to the minimally equipped yoga. Equipment includes reformers, chairs and cadillacs.

So which to do, Yoga or Pilates?

This is determined by the practitioner, and what they are trying to get out of it. As Yoga is a meditative exercise, as much as a physical one, it is often used by those wanting to improve their mental well-being. Whereas pilates is often used by those rehabilitating injuries or looking to improve their physical well-being or sports performance.

Why Does Morley Chiropractic Clinic Offer Pilates?

As mentioned before, as it’s core Pilates is a rehabilitative program. It is used to strengthen the posture and increase spinal health. This means that it is a perfect fit with Chiropractic treatments which aim to restore spinal health through natural processes and re-alignment treatments.

Injury Rehab Leeds

At Morley Chiropractic Clinic we work with an experienced pilates instructor, and offer one-to-one sessions so that they can be tailored to the user, and used to treat individual issues and weaknesses.

To find out more about our pilates sessions you can visit this page. Or, to enquire about booking a session in you can use this page.

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