Yoga vs. Pilates: Which is Better For Balance?

Yoga Vs. Pilates: Which Is Better For Balance?

When it comes to matters of mind and body wellness, they are two different groups of people.

There are those who are devoted to yoga and others who swear by PilatesPilates.

Ultimately, both groups agree that each of these activities provides the same benefits, which is to strengthen and lengthen the body ultimately.

However, they are also convinced that one of these activities is far more superior than the other.

Obviously, depending on who you ask, the answer will be very different as to which one is the superior art.

However, each of these art forms and activities has its own set of features and benefits, and in order to decide which is best for you, you need to learn about each of them.

So between Yoga and Pilates, which is better for balance?

The simple answer is that comparing Pilates and yoga is a case of apples and oranges. Both of these activities focus on alignment, breathing, balance, as well as strength and flexibility. You are required to be present and use your whole body. Ultimately in both of these art forms, balance is explored in different ways.

So let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of Yoga and Pilates and how each artform can benefit you.

Pilates vs.Yoga For Seniors

Group Of Seniors On Exercise Class

Both Pilates and yoga are generally appropriate exercises for seniors.

This is why it is gaining in popularity as older people are now seen in yoga and Pilates classes.

The good thing about yoga and Pilates is that the exercises or poses can be modified to meet the requirements of seniors and still deliver increased levels of balance, strength, flexibility, stamina, and muscle tone.

While yoga and Pilates are very similar art forms, they each have their own sets of benefits for seniors.

What are some similarities between yoga and pilates?

Yoga and Pilates are two very similar exercises. In fact, to a beginner, yoga and Pilates may seem almost like the same artform.

However, they do have their differences, but many similarities as well.

For example, both yoga and Pilates are referred to and known as mind-body forms of exercise.

So they both help to create a connection between the mind and body and also cultivate a greater awareness of yourself.

They both tend to focus on the journey of moving and not just the end goal.

You are also encouraged to focus on the present moment with both of these exercises.

And both of them help to tone and condition the muscles, and your resistance comes from your own body weight.

All you need to perform both yoga and Pilates is a sticky mat.

Just like yoga, Pilates mat exercises make use of props to increase the challenge or aid in your poses and postures.

Ultimately both Pilates and yoga help to oxygenate the system and improve circulation.

Benefits of yoga for seniors

Senior Couple Doing Yoga

One of the major benefits of yoga for seniors is that it improves your stability and balance.

While this may not be important to younger individuals, when you’re in your senior years, this is crucially important.

Being able to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance will reduce the likelihood of falling and injuring yourself.

Improving respiration

As they age, most people experience respiratory limitations.

Your body also starts to show signs of reduced tolerance to physical exertion.

However, that decreased oxygen in your respiratory system can negatively affect both your mind and your body.

Studies have shown that yoga programs can improve respiratory function in seniors.

Joint health and flexibility

Yoga is probably one of the best options for seniors who are looking for gentle exercise that also improves their flexibility.

This is great for stiff and aching joints, and studies have shown that it’s also effective in managing osteoarthritis in senior women.

Regulates blood pressure

Female Checking Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure often leads to cardiovascular disease and is one of the leading causes of kidney disease.

Yoga has been known to relieve oxidative stress in seniors, and this is one of the underlying causes of high blood pressure, so ultimately, yoga helps reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Digesting anxiety

Perhaps something that everyone knows is that yoga classes are calm and relaxed.

It’s meant to induce a more serene state of mind and body.

When you practice yoga on a regular basis, you learn how to conduct slow movements.

Ultimately this reduces stress and feelings of anxiety in seniors.


Much of the focus in yoga is about reading and listening to your body and ultimately becoming more aware of yourself.

As you begin to practice yoga, you also become more aware of your emotions and thoughts, so you will be more connected and mindful, not just of your environment, but of other people around you as well.

Disadvantages of Yoga for Seniors

Senior Woman Doing Yoga

When it comes to doing yoga, the meditation and breathing part has no side effects or risks.

However, when it comes to doing the physical poses, a lack of knowledge or negligence during these postures can lead to certain side effects.

Physical dangers

If you’ve recently undergone surgery, you should avoid doing yoga.

Certain postures in yoga, irrespective of how they are modified, can activate pain levels in your body.

So it’s advisable that if you’ve undergone surgery or are receiving medical treatment for pain, then you should refrain from yoga for a while.

Some of the physical dangers of doing yoga when you’re not ready to include, muscle strain, back injuries, and glaucoma issues.


Seniors who practice yoga should not do it excessively or without supervision.

One of the risks of doing this,  you may experience now damage and, ultimately, a stroke.

Hot yoga

Hot yoga is definitely a no-no for senior citizens.

This is because it is performed in rooms where the temperature is set at approximately 105°, and this may lead to exhaustion, dehydration, dizziness, and, ultimately, fatigue in seniors.

In fact, lots of young individuals also experience these symptoms, so hot yoga is definitely not for everyone and certainly not for seniors.

Advantages of Pilates for Seniors

Senior Woman Doing Pilates

Pilates is really a powerful exercise option, and here are a few reasons why:

It helps to get your body back into shape

Lots of seniors spend a great deal of time seated.

This is either when they are watching TV, working, eating, or simply doing stuff on the computer.

Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things that we can do for our health. Sitting is very common amongst youngsters and seniors alike.

Pilates is a great way for seniors to start exercising and has no impact, so it is safe as well.

Ultimately Pilates improves your level of fitness and cardiovascular strength.

Improves your posture and confidence

If you’re looking for a gentle exercise that’s going to tone and strengthen your muscles, then this is the one.

Seniors, especially those over the age of 60, feel confident doing Pilates as it helps them stand up straighter and create more strength in their back.

Stronger bones

Seniors are more at risk of developing osteoporosis. Pilates is a weight-bearing exercise and also bone building as well.

So when you perform Pilates, there aren’t many risks involved as opposed to lifting weights at a gym.


Exercise is essential to good health and this is something that everyone knows. However, it’s also essential to your mind and spirit.

When you are a senior, your priority is about looking and feeling your best.

It’s also about having flexibility and energy to stay active, run around with your grandkids, and take advantage of the opportunities that life is throwing your way.

Pilates is a stepping stone to helping you build your self-esteem and also becoming a better and healthier you.

Disadvantages of Pilates

Elderly Woman Holding For Painful Shoulder

Not for weight loss

Pilates is not the best work-out for losing weight. However, it does help to build and strengthen your muscles, but no calories are burned.

Not for injury recovery

If you are suffering from an injury, you need to join a customized program, and you can’t just start Pilates in order to assist you in your injury. Recovery.

Results are not quick or obvious

Lots of people are frustrated at the slow pace of exercise and don’t see any progress while doing pilates.

Related Questions

Do Yoga and Pilates have the same origins?

No, Yoga was established and has its roots in ancient Indian tradition, while Pilates is a Western work-out regime.

Our Yoga and Pilates recommended for seniors?

Yes, since these exercises are low impact and can be customized for seniors, it is perfectly safe.

Do you need special equipment to do Yoga and Pilates?

Aside from a sticky mat, you don’t need special equipment, however, props can be used to heighten the challenge.

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