Pilates was developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates in Germany to rehabilitate soldiers returning from the Great War.
Joseph Pilates himself was said to be a sickly child suffering from rickets and rheumatic fever as a child. This clearly set him on a path to become fit and healthy.
When Joseph Pilates moved to the USA his system of exercise became popular with dancers who loved the strong, long, lean muscles his techniques developed.
Pilates proved very good at rehabilitating dancers from injuries.
By focusing on your core strength, you enhance the little muscles in the body so you're better able to support the larger ligaments, tendons and joints.
Machine Pilates is the use of machines to help with the excercises. These machines include the Reformer, Trapeze, Thoracic Barrel, Wobble Board and more.
The benefits of a machine is that the resistence can be smoother and allow better targeting and isolating of the muscles.
The eight principles of Pilates are -:
Yoga is at least 5,000 years old and in its purest form is a journey of self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-realization.
Central to yoga is (Pranayama) breathing techniques that can either be done on their own or in combination with Asanas - postures.
The primary function of Asanas is to bring about harmony so you can meditate. Meditation is the only practice used by all spritual traditions.
Hence attending a yoga class with a teacher who has spent years studying the techniques and philosophy is really an experience.
Refer to What is yoga for a deeper explanation.
Many routines in Pilates are similar to Yoga poses and there are benefits to be gained by both disciplines.
Pilates is particularly good for learning about the body and preventing injury whilst building core strength.