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The Difference Between Yoga, Pilates, and Stretching

At first sight, yoga, pilates, and stretching are very similar. But each type of training is different in its distinctive features.

5-Minute Crafts decided to learn more about yoga, pilates, and stretching. We’re going to explain to you how to tell these kinds of sports from each other.


Yoga is an ancient spirtual practice born in India. As a fitness strategy, it combines physical poses with breathing practices.

There are many kinds of yoga. For example, haṭha yoga has a slow pace and is great for beginners. Other kinds of yoga can be more active and include more complex poses. Yoga coaches should choose the poses according to the needs of their students.

During the training, people take certain positions and breathe deeply. The types of poses and transitions between them can be different but the general goal is to make a deep connection between a person and their body and breath.


The main goal of pilates is to strengthen the core, stabilise and elongate the spine and develop balance and overall strength. Even though there are some types of pilates that require additional equipment, in most cases, all you need is a mat.

The training focuses on exercising all the stabilizing muscles of the back and controlling the breath when working the back muscles and the pelvic floor.

Just like in yoga, the speed and intensity of the workouts can be different. But because the motions are more controlled and the intensity gradually increases, pilates is a safer choice for beginners or those who are prone to injuries.

Unlike yoga, pilates classes often revolve around counting and follow short sets, which makes it a more attractive alternative for those that prefer more structure and discipline.


Stretching is a set of exercises aimed to stretch your muscles for increased flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. The exercises in stretching can be static and dynamic and in some cases, additional equipment might be needed.

Unlike yoga, stretching is not about conscious exercises, it’s about the physical use they will give. There are no breathing practices in stretching.

During exercises, people stretch their muscles to a limit, making the body uncomfortable. This discomfort removed the strain from the muscles, and the exercise stops when it gets really unpleasant.

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