Physiotherapy Gold Coast

Yoga and Pilates! What’s the Difference?

Yoga and Pilates have taken the modern fitness world by storm. Both are great low-intensity workouts, and there are plenty of classes available to choose from should you wish to give them a go. But what’s the difference between Yoga and Pilates?

Both practices are wonderful stress-relievers, while still getting you working up a sweat. Classes are inclusive of all kinds of people, and you’ll target muscle groups that are not accessed in other forms of exercise. They focus on stability, posture and balance, and are suitable for those looking for low intensity and low impact activities.

The discipline you prefer will come down to what you wish to get out of the class. Yoga improves flexibility and stability, while pilates improves strength and stability, and rehabilitates the body. While both are suitable for everyone, here are some benefits that might help you make the choice, dependent on what it is that you need.


Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years, originally practised by holy ascetics in India. Its aim was to focus the mind and connect with a higher consciousness. These days, its practice is less religious, but still very much a spiritual activity. It works the mind in a meditative way, uniting the body and spirit and promoting mental harmony. Yogi’s would tell you it’s a lifestyle, rather than an exercise. 

You will leave a yoga class having massaged your organs, promoted blood flow to every part of your body, and connected to your inner self. Yoga is a great at-home activity as it doesn’t involve any extra equipment, and there are plenty of great online instructors to guide you through a session. Be sure to take it easy and listen to your instructor carefully to avoid injury when exercising at home. 

Pilates or Clinical Pilates

Pilates is the younger sister of Yoga, created about 100 years ago by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates. Joseph used his techniques to heal and rehabilitate injured soldiers, athletes and dancers, to safely rebuild strength and fitness. 

Pilates works on your strength and connects you to the inner workings of your body. Classes incorporate both mat work and some machine or resistance band work as well. With pilates, you will feel strong and energised, while still feeling safe if you’re prone to injury. 

Because of its roots in rehabilitation, Pilates is utilised by clinicians and individuals all over the world. This method of training is often encouraged for lower back pain rehabilitation and postpartum recovery, however, it is much more diverse as everyone can benefit from Pilates. Core offers Exercise Classes that utilise Clinical Pilates at Banyo, Beenleigh, Mermaid, Sorrento, Tugun, and Taringa. The sessions are run by physiotherapists that have extensive knowledge of the human body and rehabilitation, and all programs are tailor-made for the individual. You may be eligible for a health fund rebate too! 

Benefits of Clinical Pilates and Core Physio Exercise Classes

  • Core stability and strength
  • Muscle strength and tone
  • Stabilisation of the spine
  • Rehabilitation or prevention of injuries 
  • Reduction of pain
  • Coordination and balance
  • Increased lung capacity and circulation
  • Stress management (and better sleep)
  • Improvements in mental health

Still not sure?

The discipline that’s right for you is going to come down to preference! Logical people tend to enjoy the structure of Pilates classes more, whereas creative-minded people tend to find more freedom in Yoga. Obviously, we strongly recommend Pilates for injury management, rehabilitation, managing pain and overall strengthening. 

Head to our website to see our availability for health-fund eligible Exercise Classes

Whatever path you choose to take, feel good knowing you are doing something wonderful for your body and mind in practising Yoga or Pilates. 

Have a look at a breakdown of our PhysioExercise Class Streams here. If you need help with pain or immobility to get you moving again, or need a tailored exercise program, book in for your treatment now with one of our exercise, physio, or pain specialists via 1300 012 273 or head to our website and book a session at your nearest clinic.