I have spent a long time practicing Pilates and Yoga, I am also a teacher in Pilates and Yoga in a Health Centre in Morisset, working along side an Exercise Physiologist. All my knowledge over these years with practicing,training, attending workshops and certifications in both Pilates and Yoga, here is what I have found to be the difference between the two.
They are both from very different backgrounds,
Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years and Originates from India in the Vedic period. Yoga was more a spiritual practice and core belief amongst the Buddhist, Jains and Hindus.
In the 1890s Yoga become famous in the West due to a Hindu Monk named Swami Vivekananda, he toured America and Europe spreading the word about Yoga. This is when it become more about physical practice and why its called modern Yoga.
Yoga is used to improve flexibility of the body and gradually will increase the flexibility in the joints. Yoga helps deepen your meditation practice and helps with balance. Yoga has different styles of Pranayama (breathing) and incorporates that throughout the class, yoga is great for boosting energy systems and increasing wellbeing and calmness.
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. This was developed in WWII where Joseph created Pilates while working as an orderly in a hospital. He created the Pilates Reformer bed as used in classes today. Pilates was created to benefit the injured for rehabilitation, discipline and recovery. Pilates is focused on activating muscles, improving posture and working on the Transverses Abdominal and the Pelvic Floor muscles. Pilates is also about strengthening of the numerous muscles of the body, working on balance, helping with flexibility with giving you long lean muscles. Pilates is great for recovery after injury and also helps with creating a strong core which is a necessity for injury prevention and keeping the muscles around your spine strong. This exercise is great for overall well-being and health, I think that Pilates needs to be incorporated in any exercise program for this reason.