Stones vs. Beatles, Yankees vs. Red vs. pilates? There are some brand warriors who swear by yoga or pilates. But we want to know what’s the actual difference between the two? To us, they both look like a bunch of spandex wearing people contorted into impossible positions—okay, so sometimes we are those people (although, we never seem to look quite like Kate Hudson in the those new Fabletics commercials...). Even for those of us who have dabbled in yoga and pilates, we still want to know: what is the real difference? We’ve sent in our private, yoga-pant sporting, detectives to get to the bottom of this never-ending debate.


We’ll start with yoga since it’s been around for a couple thousand years. Yoga focuses on flexibility, strength, endurance, and spirituality. Rooted in ancient Indian culture, yoga unites your mind, body, and spirit through movement, breathing techniques, and meditation. Yoga’s primary goal is to concentrate on your breath while deepening into poses.


Pilates has been around for about a century, and is also rapidly growing in popularity. Pilates focuses on core strength and precise movements. The majority of pilates takes place lying horizontal on the floor working abdominal muscles, whereas yoga is primarily done remaining vertical—although both include certain exercises that involve the contrary.


Here’s a curveball for you—PiYo is an exercise that combines the flexibility of yoga with the muscle sculpting of pilates. Unlike yoga and pilates, PiYo speeds motions up so that you’re not holding positions for a long period of time. For those who get a little impatient with slow movements, this may be the workout for you! Our Conclusion: Mix it up! Why not reap the benefits of all three? By regularly alternating exercises, you are less likely to get bored and you receive a full body workout.

We’d love to hear your favorite workouts in the comments below!