Pilates or Yoga?

Why not do both?

Ok so let’s break it down. Let’s start with the definitions,

Pilates is a system of exercise designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, posture and enhance mental awareness.

Yoga is a spiritual discipline based on subtle science, which bring synergy to the body and mind.

If we just pause for a moment here. The definitions above (found on good old wikipedia) are textbook definitions. There are many different types of yoga and pilates and this also doesn’t allow for teachers and their individual styles! So let’s look at the benefits of each and go from there;


Yoga is a lifestyle. You do not need to be at a yoga class to practice yoga, it’s a toolkit for life. Yoga can teach you how to become aware of yourself from the inside out. Many people who have found yoga, have done due to difficult times in their lives. It becomes a therapy and a community, it’s much more than just a class. Now, let’s not forget the physical. We’ve all looked at Jennifer Aniston’s yoga arms and thought I’d like to have a pair of those before!

Yoga can be described as yin and yang. The yang practice brings fierceness and challenges to the body and mind. Providing body definition and post yoga class highs as the endorphins race around the body. The yin brings the restoration, the recovery, the peace the stillness, its slow, its blissful.

Yoga also provides us with an education into the breath. Everyday we unconsciously breathe and the breath powers the body and mind. In yoga specific attention is given to different types of breath and how they react positively with the body. Finally yoga provides detoxification for the body and mind. Using movement, yoga detoxes organs and bodily systems to promote huge health benefits! All of which has a positive impact on our state of mind.


Pilates is centered around the core and strengthening this crucial muscle group. Using equipment such as balls, rings, reformer beds it aims to work the ‘powerhouse muscle’s’ providing strength without bulk. In a pilates class you can expect to work either the entire body or you may find it to be an focused class on the ‘hips’ for example. Pilates feels like an exercise class but is typically very slow and controlled.

Similar to yoga it promotes internal awareness of our muscles. It requires concentration and focus to keep the form of all the movements. This form and repetition of movement is what helps to strengthen and define the body. Many people have reported that they see body changing results quicker with Pilates. For this, we would have to agree. Creator of LYS Estelle first introduced us all to the game changing affects of pilates after her youngest son Lennon. Estelle focused heavily, yet equally on pilates & yoga and her post baby body was looking incredible, fast!

Pilates is unarguably less spiritual than yoga and this coincides with its exercise nature. Adaptations of Pilates are now changing the fitness industry with Pilates Barre and our very own version LYS Barre Aerobics.

So which one is best?

The answer to that is simple, it depends on what you want to achieve on that day.

The perfect workout schedule would have a combination of yoga, pilates, fitness and meditation. Depending on how you feel that day and what you’re looking for will direct you. Using me for example, every sunday 10am is my workout time. I look for something that works my entire body so I feel accomplished for the day. This Sunday we have the launch of Barre Aerobic’s with Estelle and this ticks every box for me. Why not try it with me?

Following Estelle’s guide after the birth of my daughter I have taken part in almost every Pilates LIVE with Danielle and completed the entire Pilates pre-recorded series many times over. My favourite pre-recorded pilates has to be the Pilates for morning, 30 mins and you’re done!

Here’s the link to the LIVE Schedule Barre Pilates is this Sunday 10am and Pilates Monday’s 6pm.

If you are a 30 day Summer Fit Plan member I honestly can not recommend the above classes enough!

As for our yoga classes if you are new to Yoga head to the programs section of the site and there you can find ‘beginners yoga’ and Sarah’s Muladhara series. If you are looking for a physically challenging practice I’d recommend Estelle’s Moon Flow and Shooting Star or Danielle’s Bikram class.


Gen Manager LYS