Cronulla clinic: (02) 9527 4099

Yoga? Pilates? What’s the difference?

As a Pilates instructor, I often get asked “what is the difference between Yoga and Pilates? Aren’t they the same thing?” They do have similarities, in that they aim to strengthen and tone the muscles, but they are from different origins, have different practices and movements. Below may help to give you an idea of both practices, benefits of each and which one may be more suited to you.


Pilates was born from exercises designed to rehabilitate people with injuries and chronic conditions using bed springs and resistance circles.

Pilates focuses on building strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone with an emphasis on lengthening the body and aligning the spine. Movements are fluid and precise, requiring control and technique rather than lots of repetitions. Breathing is also utilised in Pilates like Yoga. However, the breath is used to promote controlled and centered movements rather than a mind-body connection.

The core muscles and postural stabilisation are an integral part of the Pilates method. This focus makes it perfect for injury rehabilitation, back pain and joint pain.

“Change happens through movement and movement heals.” – Joseph Pilates


Yoga is recognised as an ancient system of philosophies, principles and practices. The body, breath and mind are seen as a union. Yoga uses physical movement (also known as poses) and attention to the breath in order to calm the mind into a meditative state. This makes it a wonderful stress-reliever. It offers more of an emphasis on mobility and meditation. Movements can be fluid for mobility or held for a longer period of time to promote endurance of the body and mind. There are many different forms of Yoga.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita

Here at Southside Physiotherapy, we offer Core Stability classes based on the Pilates method, as well as one-on-one reformer sessions (spring resistance machine evolved from Joseph Pilates’ original design) and one-on-one exercise physiology sessions for injury management and rehabilitation and injury prevention.

For more information on these services please contact us on 9527 4099.

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