But aren’t yoga and Pilates the same or similar……?

Both Pilates and yoga have benefits for participants and each have major followers and teachers who speak of the advantages and benefits of each body mind discipline.

Many people do not know extensively about either discipline, and seek greater information about both so as to make a decision about trying one or the other. I would suggest trying each, after researching local recommendations for good and recognised classes of each exercise type. However, I will hopefully assist you in your journey in discussing the commonalities and disparities between each without judgement or bias.

Yoga and Pilates can be done simply with a mat on the floor

Correct; however both Pilates matclasses and yoga can also involve props and assists that enable  deeper movements or assist you if you need it. Pilates equipment classes involve larger pieces of equipment for the bulk of the class and therefore note that there are two types of Pilates participants can do; one class is on a mat and the other is not.

Different styles and schools of yoga and Pilates offer different classes that may suit individuals better, so it is a good idea to shop around for the ‘fit’ or the ‘style’ that suits you.

Yoga and Pilates are only for flexible people

This is not correct, because inflexible people will benefit greatly from either discipline with regular practise. Clinical proof shows that static stretching is not as effective for increasing hamstring length as movement and resisted stretching exercises such as Pilates and PNF stretching.

The thought is that other muscles and muscle groups need to also be tested but that this outcome probably transfers to all muscles.

Flexible people like dancers and hyper-mobile people are often attracted to Pilates and/or yoga because they enjoy the extra range of motion through the joints and can therefore do some movements more easily than people who are less flexible. However, both Pilates and certain styles of yoga can offer strengthening of muscles around joints to also stabilise them for those who are hyper-mobile.

Pilates and yoga are for fit people

The beauty of both yoga and Pilates is that they are suitable for participants of all ages, given the right instruction by qualified and knowledgable instructors. There are specialised Pilates and yoga classes for children, pre-natal women, older populations; the moral of the story is to actively research for what you are after and to try a variety of teachers until you find a fit that works for you and gives you what you are after.