Yoga or gym, which is better for your health? Expert reveals


Fitness is a way of life and not just a set of workouts that aid in weight loss. In order to fully enjoy your physical activity time, it’s important to choose an activity that you truly enjoy. The choice of a particular workout also depends on the goal you have set for yourself. People who are keen on building muscles or want to look a specific way usually depend on their gym trainer for guiding them to achieve their target. Then there are people who want to reduce stress, lose weight, achieve flexibility and prevent chronic diseases. Yoga can be the perfect choice for those who want to focus on every aspect of their well-being. Various asanas or postures, pranayama or breathing techniques and dhyana or meditation can enhance physical as well as mental health. (Also read: Longevity to weight loss; 6 wonderful health benefits of regular exercise)

Exercise promotes both muscular building and functional fitness. Yoga teaches you how to increase your flexibility, strength, and focus on your breathing.(Pixabay, Freepik)

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Yoga Guru and Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa in an interview with HT Digital compares Yoga and exercise and talks about benefits of both.

Yoga has overall benefits, exercise can help in functional fitness

Yoga looks after your overall health, including your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. When you practise yoga, you’ll discover that there is more to learn than simply the physical positions. Asanas have a plethora of advantages for you. Exercise promotes both muscular building and functional fitness. Yoga teaches you how to increase your flexibility, strength, and focus on your breathing. Exercise is mostly focused on the element of your exterior look, but asanas are diverse forms and variations of postures done for the full body—internal and external.

Yoga can be done with minimum hassle, exercise needs specialised equipment

Yoga may also be practised without any equipment and with minimum hassle on a yoga mat. Your mat is portable, so you can work out whenever you choose. However, certain workouts may need to be done in highly specialist facilities with a variety of equipment in order to increase your physical strength, flexibility, etc.

Yoga helps to control your mind and emotions

Yoga is a highly specialised spiritual practise that not only benefits the physical body but also the mind and emotions. Although yoga teaches physical poses for the body, it also teaches breathing techniques that may be used to control your thoughts. Yoga enables you to achieve control over your senses and emotions in this way.

Yoga can ease anxiety and depression

Yoga boasts an extensive heritage, including 84 lakh postures, 300 pranayama techniques, and numerous meditation exercises. This ancient art form dates back over 5,000 years. Exercise may not adequately address mental disturbances like anxiety and depression. For mental well-being, yoga is recommended. A disturbed mind can lead to a lack of alignment with breath, potentially resulting in unsafe exercise practices and increased risk of injury.

“Yoga promotes overall well-being—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Practicing yoga offers more than physical postures. Asanas offer numerous benefits, enhancing strength, flexibility, and breath control. In contrast, exercise concentrates on functional fitness and muscle training, primarily focusing on external appearance,” says Akshar.

“Exercise and yoga both offer effective fitness options. Each has distinct advantages and a variety of choices. Your selection should align with your goals. Exercise is equipped with advanced technology for muscle training and bodybuilding, while yoga encompasses postures, breathing exercises, and mudras, requiring minimal equipment. Your decision depends on your objectives,” he adds.


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