Difference between Yoga & Exercise? The age old question answered

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Our attentiveness has increased towards the importance of physical fitness. Yoga is popular, however, as an exercise, it is in the path of misunderstanding. As a matter of fact, asanas are the support of the exercise part of yoga. Additionally, asanas are different when it comes to their performance and their results.

Relaxation of muscles and steady postures is the main focus of yoga. With the breathing synced, the movements are slow and steady. Usually in other exercises, the stress is on muscles. In addition to that, exercise also involves repeated movements without synchronized breathing. Therefore, the results you get from yoga and exercise differ.

Yoga Vs. Exercise


  • Muscles develop evenly over the bone surface. As a result, it increases flexibility.
  • Once you attain an asana into your body is relaxed. As a result, the requirement for blood is reduced. Therefore, stress on the heart is relieved.
  • The body is relaxed, which is why the workload on respiratory organs is reduced.
  • The functions of immune cells are improved. As a result the immune system is boosted.
  • Cortisol is a hormone that is linked to stress. It is a hormone that’s produced from chorestrol. Cortisol levels decrease with regular practice of Yoga.


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  • The focus is on increasing the muscle mass. Therefore, flexibility is decreased as a muscle length is shortened.
  • Exercise causes the opposite effect. It increases the spend of blood pressure and circulation. As a result, the workload on the heart is increased.
  • Due to constant movement, there is an increase in the oxygen required for your muscles. As a result lungs is more stressed.
  • Immunity is a factor which applied to exercise as well. But it depends on several factors like duration and intensity of the workout.
  • The body perceives exercise a type of stress. Exercise can increase cortisol levels.

Other Benefits of Yoga

The practice includes specific nostril breathing. As a result, cognition is better. Which is not present in exercise. The nervous system goes through a soothing experience during yoga. Therefore, our body feels relaxed after practicing yoga. Exercise causes the production of lactic acid. Consequently, our body is more fatigued after exercise.
Exercise also fails to offer these other benefits of yoga:

  • Increase in pain tolerance
  • Decreased or controlled impulsive behaviour
  • Resets the biological rhytm

In conclusion, yoga provides most of the benefits. Additionally, it also provides peace and happiness.

If you are looking to practice yoga or teach at some point in the future. We recommend a 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training Course affiliated by Yoga Alliance, USA.

Written by Ritika Khan

Hi, My name is Ritika Khan. I have done a diploma in social media management, content, and copywriting. When I am not working, you can find me teaching my dogs how to balance a treat on their forehead or teaching my cats how to wave. My favorite pastime is to make art and I try to better my skill as much as I can.
I steal some time for myself throughout my day just so I could read some literature by Joan Didion, Gloria Steinem, And Susan Sontag.

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