Updated: May 10
I like both! And to be honest they have a lot in common. Yoga has of course has a strong philosophy The Philosophy of Yoga: A Complete Guide (yogabasics.com). The teaching and learning of the texts can take years and some people 'live Yoga' It is a life long pursuit. I think that this part of Yoga can be a bit off putting for some.
I am a late comer to Yoga - but I have found that it can bring great gains in strength and flexibility that complement Pilates. If you live by the yoga texts then you can also acquire higher levels of self awareness. I choose to follow my own path here! I am interested to a degree. I dip in and out.
I have been studying Pilates for over 20 years - and I have always done a version of Pilates along with other types of exercise over the years. It feels much like a comfortable chair. It has always been mat-work though. I have not trained in using the reformer probably because I have nowhere to put one. I also preferred Pilates years ago because it didn't have that strong link to a philosophy like Yoga but times have changed and I am really pleased that I started my Yoga journey. It has also introduced me to Yin Yoga which I love.
The breathing can be confusing in Pilates and Yoga. And when you learn Yoga and Pilates It can be challenging that the breathing is the opposite way round.
When you breathe out for Pilates you breathe in for Yoga. Just make sure you don't hold your breath ... If in doubt .... just keep breathing.
Yoga also has more emphasis on different breathing techniques. You might learn a few different techniques for breathing in Yoga - some will feel better than others - I tend to stick to some basic breathing techniques that I hope people will remember to use and I teach these in the relaxation component of Yoga and Pilates.
There is also the meditation component - when I trained in Pilates we were taught to finish the class with a body scan - which is what I do. Yoga also has a guided Savasana.
I am fine with those who want to leave the class at this point as it is not for everyone.
I don't chant - I can absolutely see/hear/feel the benefits in chanting but it's not for me, not right now - I'd rather sing in the shower where no one is listening.
So, to sum this up - I'd do both - Pilates and Yoga because as I said I think that they complement each other and a couple of stretching classes a week will help to keep you strong, flexible, balanced and mobile!
Please get in touch if you have any questions.