Pilates vs Pregnancy Yoga. What to Choose While Pregnant?

Pilates vs Pregnancy Yoga. What to choose while pregnant?

Both Pilates and yoga are extremely popular today, but many people are still mixing up these two sports, considering Pilates to be a “light version” of such ancient and profound technique, as yoga.

In fact, both of these techniques do not involve fast or sharp movements, numerous repetitions, but help to shape the body relief, develop stamina, to achieve emotional balance, raise self-esteem.


Let us distinguish between these two notions and give you a clear picture, what method is more appropriate for mothers-to-be, weighting up all pros and cons.

What technique is more suitable for pregnant women?

It is doubtful whether any of these two sports is better or more effective than the other. They are simply different and the right choice depends on the specific goals.

Difference between pilates and yogaIf you are pregnant and don’t strive for mastering some unbelievable postures, if you just want to improve your health, eliminate the consequences of physical inactivity and prepare your body for the delivery, you’ll be better off with pilates.

In general, pilates exercises are easier to do and it is very convenient to master pilates at home with the help of video tutorial. Also, it is worth to mention that yoga is much more statical than pilates.

Now in order to help you to make the right choice between pregnancy yoga or pilates we will describe in details advantages and disadvantages of each of them separately.

Peculiarities of yoga

Yoga during pregnancyYoga is philosophical and religious doctrine from India, which helps to acquire self-awareness, harmony and teaches people how to manage their own physiological processes. Yoga for pregnant is adapted for a woman in such an important time of life.

Yoga for pregnant women has a range of peculiarities that one should bear in mind during home-exercises:

  1. There are no yoga positions, such as abdominal postures, closed twists, balances, deep forward leans, arching from abdominal position.
  2. In general, the practice during pregnancy is fundamentally different from the usual yoga. The entire message of exercises is different – you are not to show full dedication and there is no urge towards intense postures.
Attention! If you have complicated or abnormal pregnancy, threatened miscarriage, some chronical medical conditions, such as ciliary arrhythmia, you must not engage yourself in yoga.

If you suffer from morning sickness, swellings or bloody vaginal productions, please, consult your doctor first. Yoga can help you to prepare your body for childbirth:

  1. Yoga breathing techniques help to deliver oxygen to a baby in proper amounts and also these techniques will help women during delivery process – yoga breathing methods relieve and reduce pain.
  2. Pregnancy yoga class

  3. Some asanas (yoga postures), especially those so called “inverted”, can help a future baby to get the right position inside your womb.
  4. There are asanas, that help to strengthen the womb walls. Asanas do not contain sharp movements, they improve blood flow and strengthen the pelvic muscles, train the spine.
  5. Yoga helps to “adjust” endocrine system of the body to maintain a stable level of hormones.
  6. Yoga improves the immune system, boosts metabolic processes making you sound and healthy.

The video tutorial below will help you to create your own pregnancy workout routine wisely:

As any other kind of sport or meditation technique, yoga has a number of drawbacks speaking about pregnant women. These disadvantages mainly consist of huge range of contraindications, some of them were mentioned above and some are the following:

Relative contraindications:

    Breathing is pivotal part of pregnancy yoga

  • respiratory diseases, diseases of cardiovascular system or thyroid gland;
  • anemia and fetal hydrops;
  • malpresentation;
  • multiple pregnancy;
  • strongly pronounced varicose veins.

Absolute contraindications:

  • hypertensia (high blood pressure);
  • low insertion of placenta;
  • abnormal cervical position;
  • acute febrile conditions;
  • womb hypersthenia, etc.
Be careful! Yoga techniques can seem easy and non-tensional activity, but in fact, it is rather difficult to master even for non-pregnant women.

Asanas are just slightly dynamical, one should be fixed in one single position for a couple of minutes and it can be dangerous and wearing for you. Please, consult your doctor first.

Features of pilates

Pilates method is the system of bodily exercises, created by Joseph Pilates more than 100 years ago and was designed to aftercare injured shut-in soldiers. Recently this system of exercises has been adopted for pregnant women and has proved its effectiveness.

Pregnant ladies while doing pilatesPilates for pregnant woman has a range of peculiarities, that one should bear in mind during home-exercises. The exercises, based on jumps and breath-holding are forbidden, as well as exercises with power load.

Also, it is not recommended to lie down on your stomach while pregnant. By the end of the second trimester you should avoid movements with the initial position – lying on your back. Carefully perform exercises that are connected with abdominal muscles and joints, mind your balance.

For pregnant, Pilates method has a huge range of benefits, similar to those in yoga practice:

    Pilates class withn pregnant women

  1. Helps to prepare the body for childbirth, it reduces the risk of complications and injuries during delivery and the postnatal period.
  2. Has a beneficial effect on the state of the pelvic muscles, increases muscle endurance.
  3. Helps to learn the proper breathing technique, improves blood circulation and increases the oxygen saturation of the internal organs of the woman and of the child in the womb.

We present to you a short video tutorial, with the help of it you could practice pilates during pregnancy
without spending money on coach:

In general, pilates is rather similar to yoga, while Joseph Pilates used yoga as a basis for his technique. But it is worth to mention, that pilates is much more dynamical comparing with yoga, but still considerably statical comparing with fitness and aerobics.

Drawbacks of pilates – a relatively wide range of contraindications as follows:

    Pilates workout with coach and special equipment

  • medical conditions connected with the work of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems;
  • difficult and troublesome pregnancy, i.e. morning sickness, significant weight gain, edema;
  • threatened miscarriage;
  • low insertion of placenta;
  • chronic or pregnancy-emergent medical conditions, connected with locomotor system.

Another sports and techniques that could be practiced during pregnancy

Recommendation: it is worth remembering that although pregnancy is not a disease, but still it imposes certain restrictions concerning sporting activities, and it is very important to remember for mothers-to-be.

It is not recommended to engage in those sports that involve running, jumping, and weight lifting. It is dangerous to ride a bike. Horse riding, volleyball and basketball are strictly forbidden! Do not practice the exercises connected with breath-holding (for example bodyflex).

Limit your physical activities to smooth, slow and easy exercises from pilates, yoga or shaping. Easy gymnastic exercises for pregnant will give you and your future baby a beneficial effect. Swimming like no other sport gives a feeling of lightness and ease. And, of course, do not forget about walks in the fresh air!

Advice: if you feel sound during your pregnancy and don’t feel fatigue or soreness in your feet, have a walk as much and as long as possible. Fresh air (and, especially, sea air) is very healthy both for mother and a baby.


Light and easy sport activities, such as pregnancy pilates and yoga, are very recommended for women during pregnancy in case there are no contraindications. They are able to eliminate or reduce the number of problems, connected with childbearing.

But remember, that you should not overstrain yourself; you are to have pauses to relax. Hope, that with the help of this article you could figure out which one suits you more: pilates or yoga for pregnancy and do not forget to consult your doctor first!

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