What Sets Yoga Apart From Other Exercises?

The Purpose Of This Post

Yoga PracticeThe objective of this article is not to prove that other exercises are inferior or less effective than Yoga. We are merely explaining the differences between Yoga and other exercises.

A few distinctions and major differences along with benefits of Yoga are listed below in order to help you understand how and why Yoga is different from other forms of exercise.

Large Muscles DO NOT Equate To Fitness and Health

Like other forms of exercises, Yoga has its own limitations. If you are working towards increasing muscle mass and creating a buff body, you will probably not be able to derive the results you want with Yoga.

However, if you are seeking a discipline that will help you achieve and maintain the perfect physical and mental health and balance, boost your energy and immune system, then regular practice of Yoga can prove to be highly beneficial in achieving those goals. In fact, if you will read more on the Physiological Benefits of Yoga as well as Psychological Benefits of Yoga,  you will be able to understand that Yoga is not just an exercise, but a way of life for achieving a total mind and body alignment.

The Problem With Excessive Physical Strain

A lot of people measure health and fitness by muscle mass. However, this is definitely not the case. A person can sport a perfectly lean, muscled physique with a “washboard-like” abdomen, but may not have the perfect health to complement his form. According to researchers, there are a number of bodybuilders that have been shown to age faster compared to individuals who focus more on achieving overall fitness of mind and body.

Why? Well, in order to grow their muscles, it is important for bodybuilders to perform demanding physical exercises on a regular basis. Most of these exercises include seriously strenuous physical activities, which produce EXTRA amounts of carbon dioxide in the body along with higher levels of blood acidity (or pH levels).

In order for the body to clear out the toxins that are generated from the body, it requires the lungs and heart to work harder than they normally do. Hence, after years of over-straining and pushing the heart and lungs, the body’s organs gradually weaken and become unable to support the demands of the body.

Yoga does not place emphasis on attaining large muscles. Instead, it promotes the REGULATION OF WEIGHT, WHILE TONING AND STRENGTHENING THE MUSCLES in order to achieve and maintain a healthy and a perfectly shaped body.

The Difference of Yoga

Let’s focus on some specific differences between Yoga and other exercises.

Yoga as a Philosophy and Way of Life

Yoga is a school of philosophy. The goals of Yoga are not only to get physical benefits. Yoga was created by the spiritual leaders of ancient India and includes a lot of philosophical elements within the process.

Yoga ExerciseBut physical exercises pertain to the development of muscles of the human body through physical activities and hardly have any philosophy behind the process. Yoga is designed to facilitate contemplation, and develop “laser-like” focus which comes naturally by meditating. As a physio-spiritual method, Yoga tries to provide an integrated approach towards “alignment of mind, body and spirit“. Stronger and more flexible muscles, stress relief and improved circulation are essentially natural by-products of practicing Yoga.

Yoga Promotes Lower Oxygen Consumption

We all know that lower oxygen consumption is beneficial for health. In physical exercises, the individual’s oxygen usage is increased, but as Yoga includes not only physical exercises but also breathing techniques it considerably lowers the body’s oxygen consumption. Breathing becomes arrhythmic while practicing other exercises. On the other hand breathing becomes rhythmic while practicing Yoga. And harmonized and regular breathing is essential to maintain a perfect health.

Methods used in Yoga are designed in such a way that the breathing rate slows down. With slow and steady physical movements performed in Yoga make the respiration rhythmic and healthy. But during other forms of exercises, the body’s respiratory system respiratory system is required to work hard, following a frenzied pace.

Yoga Promotes Flexibility

Other exercises make the body stiff and inflexible. But one of the major goals of Yoga is to make the body flexible and balanced. And, a balanced and flexible body is less likely to get injured. Tennis player Andy Roddick, Venus and Serena Williams, Soccer player John Scales, and famous Gymnast Stephen McCain all practice Yoga to keep their body balanced and flexible.

All the Yogic methods except Power Yoga are designed to decrease the body temperature, whereas other forms of physical exercise hikes up body temperature.

Yoga Does Not Require Any Special Food Supplements

Other exercises require special diets. Yoga practitioners, on the other hand are encouraged to consume just enough food and hardly need any special food supplements. Regular food types are sufficient for a Yoga practitioner. Although being a vegetarian is encouraged in the Yogic tradition, it is not necessary.

Other forms of exercise, especially when done consistently and with the intention of achieving higher performance levels requires a person to get supplement his or her diet with specific food types and supplements.

Yoga Boosts Endocrine Function

Yogic exercises are designed to help properly regulate the body’s endocrine secretions, thereby significantly helping in the development of a positive attitude, outlook and mental state in life. Other exercises do not focus on these aspects.

Yoga Activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System

Yoga poses focus on activating the parasympathetic nervous system. But other exercises tend to focus on the sympathetic nervous system. Some Yogic exercises are developed in such a way that they not only take care of the parasympathetic nervous system but also create a more balanced sympathetic nervous system.

Yoga Energizes And Not Exhausts Practitioners

Other exercises tend to energize you for a while – perhaps for a couple of hours after the exercise – but then later results in you feeling tired. Yoga makes the body revitalized, refreshed and rejuvenated. Yoga is the only method that can relax the body as it goes through all the physical poses and activities during Yoga classes. This is a thousand year old paradox.

Yoga makes you feel active and not exhausted. Yoga makes you feel relaxed and at the same time alert, calm but determined, proactive and focused. Yoga is not a destination but instead is a journey. It’s a path which leads to inner peace, happiness and health.

Over the years, Yoga has been used as a way to deal with modern day stresses. Find out how you can fit in Yoga In Daily Life And Modern Living.</>

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