Here are the highlights taken from various web sources.
- Yoga is based on the Eastern idea of moving energy through your body. The more freely the energy flows, the healthier and more energetic you feel. Physical tension hinders the flow; over time, areas of tension in your body can become tight and rigid, even painful. The goal of yoga is to keep the body supple through movement and stretching. But there's another dimension. Yoga is a holistic spiritual discipline with its roots in Eastern forms of meditation. The physical postures, although they condition the body, are really aimed at the mind. They symbolize the goal of living your life in a state of balance and composure. When I spend an hour in a yoga class, I melt into a kind of meditative state and emerge wonderfully relaxed and refreshed.
- Pilates on the other hand is physical conditioning first and foremost. There's also a new form of Pilates, the Pilates mat class, which relies more on callisthenic-style exercises and stretches. This form is physically more similar to a yoga class though the emphasis is still on physical change rather than on spiritual development through postures and breathing.
- Yoga is a lifestyle, rather then simply an exercise.
- Pilates mainly concentrates on cultivating core strength in the body and lengthening the spine. Also, Pilates is a valuable tool for increasing strength, definition and proper posture.
- Pilates instructs one to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth; while in yoga, one is taught to inhale and exhale through the nose only.
Anyway, I got curious since I didn't quite understand the difference myself so I did a little research. Either way, they are both wonderful options for someone looking to de-stress and tone the muscles. I still never found an answer on how often you can practice pilates. (I have a friend that I can ask though because she is a professional pilates instructor in Florida.)
Don't know if that helps clarify or not, but no mater what you do, it's really about HOW you do, what you do!!! - Accept where you are at right now in the present moment and hang out with it and gain strength by being faithful to where you are at in your life! =)