Yoga or Pilates..what is the difference and what is better for me?

Pilates is partly inspired by yoga, but is different in one key respect – yoga is made up of a series of static postures, while Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs

 
Pilates
Pilates is a series of exercises inspired originally by calisthenics and ballet. Pilates lengthens and strengthens all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves flexibility, strength, balance, posture and body awareness. Techniques focus on the development of core muscles (deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles) and builds movements for other parts of the body. 
 
 

Pilates is partly inspired by yoga, but is different in one key respect – yoga is made up of a series of static postures, while Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs

 
Pilates
Pilates is a series of exercises inspired originally by calisthenics and ballet. Pilates lengthens and strengthens all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves flexibility, strength, balance, posture and body awareness. Techniques focus on the development of core muscles (deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles) and builds movements for other parts of the body. 
Pilates consists of moving through a slow, sustained series of exercises using abdominal control and proper breathing. The quality of each posture is more important than the number of repetitions or how energetically you can move, hence proper supervision is paramount.
Clinical Pilates led by Physiotherapists is especially effective in the management of pain and injury as it is specifically targeted towards particular injuries. Research has shown Clinical Pilates reduces pain and recurrence in low back and spinal pain. Due to the individual attention, this method can suit everybody from elite athletes to people with limited mobility, pregnant women and people with low fitness levels.
 
Yoga
Yoga brings the body and mind together and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation. Both Yoga and Pilates improve muscular and postural strength.
Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that dates back thousands of years. It was designed as a path to spiritual enlightenment, but in modern times, the physical aspects of Hatha Yoga have found huge popularity as a gentle form of exercise and stress management. There are many different varieties of Yoga, but each one essentially relies on structured poses (asanas) practiced with breath awareness.
Yoga is a renowned antidote to stress. This is because concentrating on the postures and the breath acts as a powerful form of meditation.  Each Yoga posture, or asana, is held for a period of time and linked with breathing. 
Yoga is taught in classes, catering for beginners through to advanced practitioners. It is non-competitive and suitable for anyone, regardless of your age or fitness level. 
 
In summary, as a very general rule,
Pilates is suitable for those with weak, untoned, flexible bodies. 
Yoga is more suitable for strong, stable and muscular types
 
As Physios, we treat alot of people with back pain and quite often the rehabilitation required for non-specific back pain is to either increase flexibility or improve muscle tone. After assessing you your Physio should be able to suggest whether your body type would suit Yoga or Pilates more. We of course offer Pilates classes under the guidance of our Physios here at SquareOne.