Some people see it as a question … yoga or the gym – which is better? Is it really a question there?
It’s about a gazillion reasons a yoga class is better. And here are 15 of them:
1. Yoga benefits the mind, body and spirit.
Yoga will help tone your body but while it’s doing that, it also helps you to be truly in the moment and infuses your spirit with positive energy. A gym workout is focused primarily on improving your body’s physical condition.
2. Yoga benefits your full body—externally and internally.
The twisting, stretching and bending yoga is good for the digestive system, circulatory system, lymphatic system and much more. It’s a great way to detox your body and improve your cardiovascular system. And all this while developing stronger muscles. A workout focuses only on strengthening the muscles and increase cardio.
3. Yoga teaches acceptance.
Yoga helps you think you are perfect as you are-your strengths and weaknesses. It’s true what they say – yoga is not about self-development, it is about self-acceptance. Fitness classes, especially the boot camp style classes, are more likely to make you feel like a failure if you can not do everything.
4. Yoga is about focusing on yourself.
Many yoga studios have not even mirror so you have to think about where your body is and what every muscle and limb to do, while fitness classes are mirrors to see and worry-what everyone else is doing.
5. Yoga will make you lean.
By stretching your muscles as you strengthen them, the body will take on a slimmer look. A workout filled with weights will cause your muscles to bulk up.
6. Yoga is more efficient.
Yoga is dependent on your own body-strengthening. Exercise with weights and other equipment. Through various asanas, toned entire body and stronger by using your entire body weight as ‘weights’. Using only weights or other equipment, the muscles are isolated and have worked to execute, it takes a lot more time.
7. You can do yoga anywhere.
Yoga is a different experience in a yoga studio, but you can easily practice yoga at home, outside or in small rooms. All you need is about 6 feet by 4 feet, and you have your own yoga studio. A workout requires more equipment and more space.
8. Yoga is kinder to the body.
This does not mean that yoga is not intense. Just ask anyone who practices Ashtanga. Yoga builds heat and the muscles work, but you do what your body allows you to do and not try to lift weights and pound your joints-both of which can cause damage. Yoga stretches as you move through the poses and a good yoga builds upon themselves to prepare the body for the next position.
9. Yoga eases your aches and pains.
Exercise increases them. Yoga slowly stretching the muscles and opens the energy channels in the body. The increased flexibility keeps muscles and joints lubricated and healthy. Weights and treadmills can cause stress that leads to soreness and injury.
10. Yoga helps you breathe easier.
In times of stress, it is easy to forget to breathe-really breathe, and not only shallow breaths. Without deep breaths, it is difficult to think clearly and fatigue can set. Yoga focuses on breathing, so that when you need it most, the deep breathing is the norm.
11. Yoga is calming.
We move through practice with a calm, relaxed expression. No grunting, no drop weights, no clenched teeth and grimacing expression that you see from the gym-goers. The overall intent is to release tension in the body and mind.
12. Yoga reduces stress.
Many yoga classes include meditation, or at least Savasana. It gives you a chance to clear your mind of the stresses of the day. With practice, you stressful situations are handled easily and overall stress is reduced. Competitive nature a gym with loud music and bright lights are more likely to increase the stress.
13. Everyone can practice yoga.
Regardless of age or health, you can practice yoga. Yoga has also been shown to help people who have health ailments ranging from Parkinson’s to cancer. Fitness training is generally not designed to be therapeutic or senior-friendly.
14. Yoga improves concentration.
In yoga, you focus on your breathing, posture and gaze. Outside distractions are tuned out. Although you can try to do this in the gym, this is the focus and the silence is not exactly encouraged with all the other distractions around, as loud music, TV, etc.
15. Yogis rock.
We are a happy bunch! Would not you rather be around smiling, happy people? You may be in an environment where people accept, and all others, curves and edges. There is no doubt that was what the pose longer, no sense of competition. It is always good vibes all around!
Are there things you would add to this list? Let us know!