30 Sep 2022

The Difference Between Yoga and Pilates

Fitness and workout advice

Fitness lovers are well aware of the fact that all cardio or weights and no stretching leads to a sore body, which in some ways explains the growing popularity of yoga and Pilates. In this article, we will break down the benefits of each of these exercise forms of both yoga and include some of the key movements, to help you judge for yourself.

What is Yoga?


An ancient series of philosophies and practices, Yoga predates modern estimations of its origins, acknowledged to be the result of two warring nations and the fusion of their pre-combat rituals. This way of life recognises how the human body and mind impacts nature, surrounding environments and the minds of others, requiring adherents to perform regular self-enquiry and dedicated practice.

Types of Yoga

Yoga isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice. Different types of yoga might be suitable for different kinds of people, some of these include:

  •  Hatha yoga – Best for beginners because of its slower pace

  • Vinyasa yoga – Popular among HIIT lovers for its intense exercises and fast pace

  • Iyengar yoga – Loved by detail-oriented yogis for its precision and detailed form

  • Ashtanga yoga – For perfectionists who like orderly approaches and strict guidelines

  • Bikram yoga – For people who appreciate a set routine

  • Hot yoga – Loved by hardcore sweat lovers who enjoy a tough workout

  • Yin Yoga – Best for people who need to stretch and unwind and want to balance their body and mind.

Benefits of Yoga

Group doing Yin Yoga​

The practice of yoga is mostly focused on the body, mind and the breath, and when put together it can have many physical, emotional and social benefits. These include:

  • A heightened sense of relaxation

  • Passive, but effective exercise

  • Positive thinking

  • Mind and body fitness

  • Increased flexibility

  • Better posture

  • Basic strength


Yoga for health is becoming widely known especially for the illnesses and ailments it is known to help ease of:

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic pain

  • Respiratory conditions

  • High blood pressure

  • Arthritis

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Multiple sclerosis

Try a Pose

Downward Facing Dog

Mother working out near child
  1. Tuck your toes under for stability, press your weight into your hands and lift those hips to the ceiling.

  2. Your fingers should be spread evenly, with your palms shoulder-width apart.

  3. With straight arms (no locking), press your hips further into the air, engaging your core and lean your chest toward your thighs. Your back and legs should be straight, turning your body into a pyramid and your tailbone into the apex.

  4. Let your head relax or focus on your belly-button.

  5. Hold for 8 complete breaths.

What is Pilates?


Pilates is a life-changing exercise system, designed to stimulate the body, train the muscles and soothe the mind without sacrificing personal safety or endangering old injuries. Originally devised as rehab for wounded WW1 soldiers in the 1920s, Pilates is named for its creator, Joseph Pilates, who dedicated his life to studying, mastering and applying a series of physical training styles, developing his own system based on results, medical practice and corrective exercises.

Benefits of Pilates

A Pilates exercise routine includes exercises that promote core strength and stability to enhance your muscle control and endurance. Some of the amazing benefits include:

  • Improved flexibility

  • Better posture

  • Better balance

  • Less joint pain

  • Better endurance

  • Improved muscle strength


Some of the aliments that are eased by incorporating Pilates into your exercise routine include:

  •  Arthritis

  • Urinary incontinence

  • Respiratory conditions

  • Joint injuries

  • Back pain

Try a Pose

The Bridge

exercise from home
  1. Press shoulders into the ground, knees bent and feet square. Let your arms relax at your sides.

  2. Engage your core by inhaling and maintaining abdominal contraction.

  3. Exhale and squeeze your glutes as your back lifts off the floor, tucking your tailbone underneath. Start low and go big later.

  4. Hold for five full breaths and slowly roll back to the floor in a controlled motion.

So, what is the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?

Well, both yoga and Pilates are excellent low-intensity workouts. However, yoga will put a far greater strain on your flexibility or lack thereof, so do check with a doctor first.

Both are a great addition to a weekly program and, of course, if you’re older or recovering from an injury, you’ll veer towards the lower impact exercises offered by Pilates.

Interested in providing yoga or Pilates training as a qualified Fitness Instructor? Our nationally recognised Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness courses are perfect for you! Enquire now or call us at 1300 161 180 to speak to one of our career advisors for more information!