Yoga or gym – Which is better?
Can you get fit doing Yoga?
Is yoga as good as weight training?
How long does it take to see results from Yoga?
Yoga or Gym is a question often asked.
For a healthy body, staying fit is imperative – by enjoying the benefits of physical activities. Physical activities are good news because they bring along a list of benefits like reducing stress, increase your body’s resistance to life-threatening and common diseases like heart problem, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight issues and joint/muscle pains to name a few.
Yoga on the other hand – is an age-old tradition and popular worldwide due to the wide benefits of Yoga. Health issues like Alzheimer, depression, diabetes, joint pain, back pain, lack of concentration can be prevented and cured by practising Yoga regularly.
Yoga Versus Gym
Working out at the gym has its own share of pros and cons. Not everyone can afford the gym or set up one at home. Many of you bunk gym sessions, because of the weather or distance to travel to the gym.
However, if your interest lies in bodybuilding, heavy cardio exercise, or weight lifting, the gym is your haven.
On the other hand, you can do yoga at your convenience. It could be at your office space, in a local yoga class, at the beach, in your garden, local park, or at home. This way, you may have to never skip yoga sessions. Therefore, yoga does not need any tool, equipment to practice. All you need is a comfortable yoga mat.
How to Manage Stress related to work
We all know, that physical exercise of all sorts helps to relieve stress, enhances your mood, and keeps you active.
Furthermore, they decrease the risk of health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, muscle pains, and many others.
Keeping all the above in mind, as a result, yoga helps relieve stress, overcome anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders.
However, a session at the gym makes you feel tired, sore, and hungry, but yoga revitalizes and freshens your mood.
Feel that stretch! It will wake you up in seconds!
Before you start your wellness journey, ask yourself this question,
“ARE YOU A YOGA PERSON OR A GYM FREAK?”
The youth does not practice yoga for long because they think it’s monotonous.
The youth has an obsession with bodybuilding; therefore, it chooses the gym.
Cost effective as there are minimal accessories required. Hence, very sufficient with a Yoga mat.
Highly costly due to the use of machines and a need for a trainer. Therefore, you are forced to pay membership for a longer period of time.
You can learn yoga with the help of a trainer or through online yoga classes. Subsequently, once you learn the art, you can do it by yourself.
There is a constant need for a trainer to keep a check on the targeted fitness and bodybuilding regime.
Definitely suitable for people of all ages.
Definitely not suitable for the weak hearted people and for those with heart and blood pressure ailments.
There are minimal chances of withdrawal effects once you discontinue practising yoga. As a result, you retain your body form.
Chances of withdrawal effects are high. The body loses its form once you stop exercising. Therefore, there is a possibility of body aches and soreness in muscles.
You can easily practice yoga during a vacation, business trip or even while travelling.
While travelling, you require a gym and its equipment to exercise. Therefore, it is difficult to find places equipped with a gym.
Minimal tiredness after yoga.
Maximum tiredness after a gym session.
Yoga keeps you fresh, energetic, and happy.
Gym exercises make you feel stiff, tired, sore, as well as healthy and fit.
You pay for each individual class or for a course of yoga sessions.
You need to sign up a monthly payment for a gym membership.
What are the benefits of yoga that a gym session does not give?
To begin with, let’s see what does a gym session offers:
- The gym requires types of equipment and focuses more on building muscles.
- You cannot do heavy workouts at home. Not everyone can afford to set up a gym at home.
- It requires you to travel a great distance from your home, however using up most of your time. (That is always a bummer!)
- After a gym session, you end up feeling sore all over your body and that is sometimes a de-motivating reason.
- It increases your hunger pangs and leads to over-eating. What was the point of all that running, lifting, and sweating?
- Gym sessions work mostly on your outer body appearances. Therefore, it has only physical benefits and not mental growth.
According to holistic health guru, Mickey Mehta, “Yoga means a psychological and spiritual equilibrium and upliftment of one’s emotional quotient. Start with self-love and you will never look back. Yoga will give you solutions to all the problems of your life. It will help you to find your purpose in life.”
Now, let’s see what Yoga can do for you.
- Yoga will increase your flexibility, tone, and strengthen your body, muscles, and mind.
- You save a lot of your time since you do not have to travel to practice yoga.
- Never will you have the urge to skip yoga sessions because you are doing it at your comfort level.
- After a yoga session, you feel a rush of energy through your body and mind. It helps you to get rid of fatigue.
- Yoga does not increase hunger even though; you practice some of the asanas on an empty stomach.
- The yoga poses work on your internal organs, waking them up to do their bodily functions.
- It benefits you not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and intellectually.
13 Reasons Why Yoga Is Better than the Gym
There are millions of reasons, that can state how yoga is better. And here are some of them:
1. Yoga spreads a positive aura to the mind, body, and spirit
Yoga brings about an elasticity to the body. While it is stretching your body head to toe, it is bringing in a positive aura. Yoga infuses your mind and soul with the right energy. Therefore, it helps you to be in the moment and feel it right through your being.
Whereas, a gym workout primarily focuses on improving your body’s physical condition.
2. Yoga benefits the body externally and internally
All the twisting, turning, stretching, and folding of a yoga posture benefits the digestive, circulatory, and lymph system. This is a way of detoxifying the body internally and getting rid of all the toxins. As a result, this improves your cardiovascular system too. In the process, it develops strong muscles as well.
However, a gym workout is mostly focused on strengthening muscles and boosting cardio.
3. Yoga teaches acceptance and self-love
Yoga is not all about self-improvement, it is about self-acceptance. It gives you a boost of confidence to love yourself. As a result, it helps you to see yourself as a perfect being with your strengths and your weaknesses.
Whereas, gym sessions, especially boot camp style classes, are likely to have you feeling like a failure if you can’t do everything.
4. Yoga is about focusing on yourself
If you ever enter a yoga studio, you will notice that they do not have mirrors on the walls. This is because yoga focuses on how you feel from within and not how you look from the outside. You are not made to feel conscious.
On the other hand, gym classes have mirrors all over for you to see yourself and how you look while you work out. This, however, makes you super conscious about what other people might think. As a result, a negative connotation builds up in your mind.
5. Yoga will make you lean
By stretching your muscles through yoga poses, you are strengthening your muscles. This will bring about a lean appearance in your body.
Whereas, a gym workout with heavy weight will build up your muscles and bulk you up, giving you a puffed-up look.
6. Yoga is more effective and efficient
Yoga does not rely on any equipment to practice the poses. You use your own body as a tool for strengthening. Therefore, in yoga, you use your entire body weight to do any pose/asana. As a result, your body, in the process, becomes stronger and toned.
In contrast, Gym classes use weights and other types of equipment to build up the muscles, which take more time for one to benefit from.
7. Yoga is kinder to the body
Many of you have this myth, that yoga is easy and does not sweat you out.
You are wrong, my friend!
Certainly, Yoga is intense as well. Ask anyone who practices Ashtanga or Power Yoga. Through different poses/asanas, it builds up heat and works on your muscles. It allows you to do as much as your body can take.
Whereas, a gym session pushes your body to carry weights that pound on your joints. This, as a result, can cause serious injuries as well.
8. Yoga eases your aches and pains
Yoga stretches your entire body’s muscles and allows oxygen to breathe through your blood and every part of your body. It fills the body with positive energy. Hence, this increases flexibility, keeping the joints and muscles happy, healthy, and strong.
However, a gym workout causes aches and pains all over the body. Certainly, lifting weights and running on the treadmill cause strain, soreness, and injuries.
9. Yoga helps you breathe easier
Do you concentrate on your breathing pattern? No, you don’t. You take it for granted, as a part of our everyday existence.
Therefore, you must notice how your breathing pattern changes when you are in stress and when you are in a state of happiness. There is a big difference.
Take a deep breath and you will realize how your chest fills with air and a rush of oxygen reaches your brain, telling you to wake up. As a result, your mind will think straight and clearly. Fatigue will walk out of the window.
Yoga teaches you how important it is to breathe the right way. In times of panic, these deep breaths will help you to calm down.
On the other hand, in a gym session, you end up huffing and puffing. You do not concentrate on your breathing. Instead, you are more cautious about how many calories you burn or if you are sweating enough.
10. Yoga is calming
When practising Yoga, do it with a calm and serene expression on your face. It focuses on releasing tension throughout your body and mind.
Whereas, due to the extensive cardio exercises, gym sessions involve much grunting, clenched teeth, shouting, and contort expressions. Gym-goers release their tensions in a tall way.
11. Yoga reduces stress
Yoga always starts with meditation. It gives your brain signals to clear all the stresses of the day.
With more practice, you can handle stressful conditions with ease. Hence, you will notice how your overall stress levels have decreased.
On the contrary, the competitive nature of a gym along with the loud music and bright lights is more likely to increase your stress.
12. Everyone can practice yoga
No matter your age or your health, you can certainly practice yoga in any condition. Yoga helps those who have health ailments such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer.
On the other hand, Gym workouts are not therapeutic, or senior-friendly.
13. Yoga improves concentration
During yoga practice, you are focusing on your breath and posture. As a result, you are aware of your breath and your surroundings. The mind is alert and there is full power concentration.
Whereas in the gym, you are among distractions like loud music, big TV displays, people grunting, which makes it difficult to focus and concentrate.
A rise in the Yoga industry
There is a sudden interest in yoga that is growing on a high scale in the wellness and fitness sector. Since, the onset of International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015, yoga received widespread attention.
During the months of June-July, yoga becomes the flavour of the season. As a result, the demand for yoga accessories or yoga instructors is sky-high.
In India, over the past couple of years, there is a spike in the number of people signing up for yoga.
Read in Detail 10 Health Benefits of Yoga
Did you know?
In June 2017, Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India), highlighted a shortage of yoga instructors by around three lakhs as compared to the demand of over five lakh yoga practitioners present.
According to media reports in India, the estimated value of the yoga industry globally is at around $80 billion. In India, the value of the wellness industry has crossed over Rs 85,000 crore.
Similarly, in the U.S, the yoga industry by 2020 will reach an estimate of $11.5 billion.
According to statistics and studies, in the year 2015, $37 million people in the U.S were practising yoga as compared to 17 million in 2008. However, this number will increase to $55 million in 2020.
Yoga is definitely catching up among the crowd even though, it has been part of our history for years.
Gym exercises are equally beneficial to the body but it comes with its own disadvantage. However, yoga has no disadvantage or barrier for anyone.
Above all, Yoga calms the disturbed mind, stretches your stiff body and uplifts distressed spirits. It brings in love, self-acceptance, confidence, and positivity around you. As a result, you feel like a warrior, who can take any challenge that life throws at you.
Overall yoga is reaping with benefits because of a down-side to gym sessions.
Remember, to look into every detail before you start any kind of workout regime for the benefit of your health and to avoid injuries.
However, I hope this article answers many of your questions and doubts that you have about yoga and the gym.