Difference between Yoga Asanas and Physical Exercise

Yoga vs Physical Exercise

For most of us or in some sense for all of us exercise and yoga asanas are one and same. Because we think that these are aimed to burn some of the calories. And that made Yoga much popular around the globe in terms of the daily exercise. In a book store you will find many books on Yoga, titled in different ways like- Yoga for weight loss, lose weight yoga way and many more. More on this the epidemic of the obesity has blown some air to the fire of Yoga.

This is good or bad- hard to say. But not surely this is not that good as it seems to be. Every sixth or seventh person who has developed some flexibility in the body by practicing Yoga and aerobics. And all of them self-declares himself and herself as a YOGA GURU. And to sound it more interesting they love to be called FITNESS GURU. These gurus, in most of the cases are beautiful divas with perfect cuts and curves. Celebrities follow these and common men follow these celebrities and this makes a chain. We need to understand the utility and practicality of the Yoga. And we always should have an idea that what is the basic difference between the Yoga asanas and Exercise.

What is Yoga

This is good to practice the Yoga asanas for daily energy burnouts and to maintain the health. But these poses, breathing exercises and all stuff from yoga aim to something different. Yoga is something which helps in “summing up”- summing up the self with selflessness. Yogic practice is a journey of reversal- from everything towards nothing. Yoga is an equation. Where adding up subtracts. Yoga subtracts egoistic nature. It reduces the inner puzzles. Yoga guides us for the best path. I know your subconscious mind might be saying that yoga also subtracts some extra pounds from your body (yoga never nourishes this “questioning-ego” in you, which make you to challenge everyone- every now and then).

People do yoga for starving, for reduction. But yoga is adding up- adding up the “nutrition” to your life, to your body and to your soul. So you are not doing what you aim to achieve with Yoga. You need to know what the best you can do with Yoga and this is possible when you are ready to accept the truth about the Yoga. If you are enjoying the Yoga as an exercise or as a part of aerobics then this write up is not worthy for you and you should stop reading it immediately. This is not about maintaining your cuts and curves through Yoga, at all. There are certain differences between Yoga and Exercise and we need to understand all these to better perform both of these.

Difference between Asanas and Physical Exercise

The differences between asanas and physical exercises. Though it depends very much on the type of physical exercise and way of doing the physical exercise, the differences, in a general sense, are as follows

  • Asanas help to harmonies all the Doshas and the endocrinal secretions, balancing the emotions and giving a positive attitude to life.
  • Oxygen consumption in the practice of asanas reduces whereas in physical exercise it increases.
  • In asanas the respiration rate falls, whereas in exercise it increases.
  • Generally, quickness is the key physical exercises and with a lot of heavy breathing. Therefore the respiratory system had to work much harder.
  • In Yoga the body temperature drops whereas in exercise it tends to rise.
  • While doing asanas the metabolic rate drops whereas with exercise it increases and same applies to the Basal Metabolic Rate, body temperature is the result of the BMR alone.
  • In asanas the muscles receive minimum nutrition/ oxygen and the organs receive more, whereas in physical exercise, it is the muscles that receive the most nutrition/ oxygen at the expense of the other organs. Large muscles are developed by most types of physical exercise: these bigger muscles require greater nutrition and supply of blood; when not utilized, these muscles tend to become flabby as the muscle tissue turns to fat.
  • In asanas, the blood pressure and heart rate decrease, whereas in exercise they increase with the result that the heart works harder.
  • In broad terms, Yoga practitioners need less food than people practicing physical exercise that maintains and manages weight properly, whereas you stop physical exercises and you will gain extra weight because your level of hunger is increased by the physical exercise.
  • Asanas stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, whilst exercises stimulate the sympathetic nervous system- this is a big difference between Yoga asanas and Physical Exercise.
  • Physical exercise tends to overwork the joints and can often engender rheumatism and stiffness later in life. The opposite is the case with asanas.
  • Asanas encourage flexibility and the capacity to adapt to the environment and to change; if done correctly, they also develop stamina.
  • Unlike most exercises, asanas are done slowly, with relaxation and awareness which also encourages co-ordination between the body systems and the mind.
  • Physical exercise tends to build up toxins in the body, whereas asanas eliminate them.
  • Asanas develop inner awareness; exercises not necessarily.

One traditional definition of Asana is very specific and does not relate particularly to physical exercise: According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra: ‘Sthiram, Sukham, Asanam’ which means ‘Asana is a body position and a state of being in which one can remain steady, calm and comfortable’.

Take away message

Think once what are you doing for your health is healthy? Get the Yoga Guide Book with Sukhayu, our experts with Yoga are there always for you to guide you that what you should do to maintain your health with the great sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga. You will get the personalized Yoga Guide Book and it will tell you answer you the following:

  • What Asanas are the best for you?
  • What is the best way to Do Yoga according to your Bio-constitution?
  • How should you do the Asanas?
  • These are few of the basic questions which this guide book will answer for you.


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About Sukhayu

In name of Ayurveda centers and hospitals, resorts are common. And this dragged Ayurveda to a category of relaxation and spa only. This is the reason, Ayurveda pendulum between spa and hotels. Hospitals are not common in Ayurveda.

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