When it comes to choosing your water-based workout, both Aqua Pilates and Aqua Yoga are excellent options. They incorporate low-impact but powerful techniques that will tone your core and help you get into great shape. From a high-level, it can be hard to see any big differences between the two. However, they do differ in a few key ways, ways that you should make sure to understand when you decide which practice you want to pursue.
We’ve broken down some of the key differences below to help you understand what you are getting into and decide for yourself which practice will suit your needs and give you the results you want!
Yoga and Pilates both include a series of poses that are designed to build strength, increase flexibility, and improve the mind-body connection. However, they each place their focus heavier in one of those areas than the other.
Yoga is primarily focused on your mental health and how you feel in your own skin, with the strength and flexibility coming as an afterthought. Pilates is focused on toning and developing your body and bettering your posture and movement as a result.
Pilates is focused more on giving your body a good workout, while Yoga is more about relaxing. That’s not to say that Pilates won’t relax you, or that you won’t be sore after a good Yoga session, but the primary goal of each practice is different and that will be reflected in the kind of workout you get.
Speed of Results
As described in the previous section, Yoga is focused more on the relaxation and mind-body balance than seeing results from its workout, and Pilates is vice versa. Because of this, on a general level, you would get into shape faster doing Pilates compared to Yoga. But if your goal is to improve your mindfulness and relax, Yoga is a better choice.
It depends on what you are looking for out of your workout.
Breathing is an incredibly important part of both Pilates and Yoga, but how the breath is used and the benefits of doing so vary greatly between the two practices. That difference is part of the core difference between the two practices.
In Pilates, breathing is used as a means to an end. The breath is there to give your muscles the energy needed to exercise effectively. You manage the quantity of oxygen coming into the body and traveling to the muscles to help them stay relaxed and get a good workout out of them.
In Yoga, your breath is to help you relax. You focus on how the breath is being used in each exercise, and where you send the oxygen. You can send it to areas that are tight and holding stress.
Flexibility vs. Strength
Yoga’s poses and smooth movements are designed to improve your body’s overall flexibility, whereas Pilates is more dynamic with a focus on more movements in general. You will improve your flexibility in Pilates, but it is not the focus of the exercise.
While Yoga focuses on general body wellness (and will improve your body overall in a lot of surprising ways), Pilates focuses more on the abdominal muscles above all else. Through regular Pilates practice, you will strengthen yours abs and even flatten and tone your stomach as well!
If spirituality is important to you, or you wish to develop your own spirituality, Yoga is the way to go! Yoga often includes meditation in its practice and can focus on developing your own spirituality. Pilates does have a portion devoted to a mind-body alignment, but it never gets spiritual in the way that Yoga sometimes can.
However, if spirituality is not your thing but you still want to try Yoga, there are plenty of options out there! Not all Yoga practices incorporate this element, and it should be easy to find a class that does not.
Try Them Out!
While we’ve outlined the major differences in the two practices above, nothing can compare to getting out there and taking a class on your own. You may have some idea of which way you lean, but every Aqua Pilates and Aqua Yoga class is different, so to really find what you are looking for, you need to take a class and see what you like. We are confident that you will find the perfect fit in no time!