Yoga Versus Gym. Which Is Better?

If you want to become more physically active but are not sure whether to do hardcore gym exercises or calming yoga, this article is for you. Get acquainted with the pros and cons of each method and choose the one which fits you personally.

If you want to become less stressed, you could embark on a physical training program instead of spending endless hours in the library. Ask yourself what you want – a strong fit body or a tranquil soul. Perhaps, you can even get both.

upward dog yoga

Which Is Better for the Body?

What kind of the body are you looking for? Do you want to be lean or jacked up? Do you want to look like an anorexic model or a gigantic bodybuilder? These questions need to be answered before you make your choice in favor of either gym or yoga classes?

If you want to boost your muscle mass, gym is the most obvious and effective choice. Yoga will not allow you to do that as it focuses more on stretching rather than strengthening your muscle tissues. Moreover, gym is an optimal choice for those looking to burn calories, since only really intense exercises stimulate glucagon enough to burn stored sugar and fat in your body.

If you do not fight obesity and just want to remain lean or become more flexible, yoga is the way to go. It does not build your muscles but rather stretches them out, helping you achieve a leaner shape. It does not burn many calories as it is not very intense, but it will help you maintain a healthy body weight anyway, assuming your eating habits are also up to par.

Of course, there are yoga types which are physically intense, but they are not very common. Nonetheless, it may be an option for those who do not want to deal with fatigue, typical after a gym session.

Knowing the limit is the most important rule in this regard, since even a yoga practice can make one feel exhausted when there is no finish line.

What Is Better for the Soul?

You might have already guessed the answer. Yoga is praised for its remarkable ability to relieve anxiety and depression. However, is it really as magical as it’s said to be? While many people find consolation in yoga, it is not enough to become mentally healthy. Often you just need time to overcome grief, or you may even require help from a mental health professional.

Despite the disclaimer, yoga does have a more calming effect on one’s psyche than a regular gym training. The thing is that gyms are known for their loud music and intense programs. You may feel like a loser if you cannot keep up with the rest of gym-goers, plus the loud music can overstimulate your senses, leaving you stressed and anxious. Yoga is more in cahoots with your personal needs and abilities. Usually you are not forced to keep up with the Joneses and are told to focus on yourself.

Very often yoga presupposes meditation. Focusing on your breathing, trying to let go of everyday concerns is a great way to become more mindful and focused, isn’t it? When I started meditation, I noticed I became much calmer and aware of my own spiritual needs.

If you want to become more in tune with your feelings and emotions as well as your physical body, yoga together with meditation is the right choice for you.

What Is More Comfortable?

Here yoga also takes an upper hand. While in order to do gym exercises effectively, you either need to go to the gym or splurge out on expensive equipment, yoga requires a simple yoga mat. Of course, it is always more inspiring to do yoga in a group, but nothing prevents you from practicing it anywhere you go.

Moreover, yoga is more focused on one’s well-being rather than beautiful body. It is especially important for self-conscious people who do not want to feel uncomfortable revealing their imperfection in front of others. Personally, I never cared about such things, but I have friends who do.

My Experience

I tried both gym and yoga, and I prefer neither. While I like gym, specifically running because it trains my cardiovascular system, it also makes me feel exhausted every time. While I like the idea of yoga as it never fails to make me calmer, it tends to get boring and repetitive with time.

I think it’s good to do both with moderation. It is important to understand that your muscles need time to repair whenever you decide to sign up for a gym membership. You will not be able to train every day and stay healthy, since if you do not rest your body after an intense exercise, you will have to deal with inflammations and muscle tears.

The same goes for yoga. Being mindful and doing mild exercises is surely beneficial, but you should not cross out intense training from your life. Not only does gym help you burn calories but it also improves your heart rate, building your stamina and boosting your overall health.

Know what you want to achieve and go for it. But remember: there is no single way to reach happiness and well-being. However, if you combine various methods and listen to your body, you will be able to find the balance between intense exercising and mindful concentration. This is how you become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

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