Yoga has been around for thousands of years. Although the details of its exact birth into existence are a bit vague, one can surmise it was well before technology.
That brings us to the present moment. You’d be hard pressed to go five square miles in any direction on the map and not find at least a yoga class being held. Its popularity can be traced to several factors.
First and foremost, it’s a fusion of mind and body exercise. People attend a class and fall in love with the feeling of stress relief at the end so they keep coming back for more. Suffice it to say, almost all of the world’s population deals with at least some stress on a day to day basis. In a lot of these cases, yoga is the perfect elixir to take the edge off.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Aside from that, people like to feel good about themselves in a nonjudgmental way, while others need a class atmosphere to get motivated with anything fitness related. Yoga encompasses both feats in one fell swoop.
I’d even go as far as saying…
…a lot of men go to yoga because it tends to be highly populated with women. Hey if internet dating isn’t your thing, perhaps a hot yoga class is.
Lastly, yoga is easy to do at home once you gain some experience. There are also tons of DVDs saturating the market that enable you to partake from the comfort of your living room. This is especially nice for women who have smallies to look after every day. They’re often not afforded the luxury of going to a gym or yoga studio.
Speaking of gyms, let’s now take a gander at another popular form of exercise done at gyms called weight training. In reality, comparing weight training to yoga is sort of like comparing oranges to orange juice. They’re not completely different but they’re not identical either.
Yoga is performed in a slow motion where you hold your body in a fixed position
for several seconds or even minutes. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule when you do yoga “flows,” but for the most part you hold a pose for an extended period of time.
Weight training, on the other hand, is performed by doing a series of repetitions
Both forms of exercise are beneficial but in completely different ways. Yoga predominately zeros in on flexibility. Have you ever seen someone who has practiced yoga for a long time? They can do things with their bodies that words can barely describe. It looks like they are made out of rubber and can twist, contort and bend themselves into positions that would make an inflexible person sore just from watching.
As I mentioned earlier, yoga gives you stress relief, but that can also be said about weight training. In fact, any form of exercise, regardless if it is yoga, weight training, cardio or playing pickleball will give you that same elated feeling. It’s called an endorphin release, but I like to refer to it as a “chi hit.”
Here’s one area, however, where
Weight training and yoga differ immensely
Weight training shortens muscles, making them tighter. Its main purpose is to build size and strength. Although you can build baseline strength with yoga, it’s not known as a strength-building exercise form. It’s geared more toward lengthening muscles and making them more supple.
In the big picture, yoga and weight training are both worthy of your time every single week. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to move weights through a full range of motion. Yoga is so easy to perform you can actually integrate it into your weight training workouts too. Or just simply reserve it for the end of them.
By doing both you can have the best of both worlds and not compromise one fitness parameter for another.