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"Yoga" and "Exercise" are both essential activities for maintaining a healthy body. In modern times, there's an increasing trend towards keeping the body healthy. Hence, today the whole world is embracing both "Yoga" and "Exercise" for their health. Both of these activities contribute to fitness and overall well-being. Let's look at the differences between Yoga and Exercise and determine which activity is optimal for the body.

difference between yoga and exercise
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Subject of this Article :-

• Differences between Yoga and Exercise.
• What is Yoga?
• What is Exercise?
• Difference in method.
• Difference in impact.
• Differance in rules.
• Physical Fitness Capability.
• Difference in convenience.

What is difference between Yoga and Exercise?

Both of these activities assist in keeping the body healthy. But both are not equal. There is a difference between Yoga and Exercise. Generally, Yoga poses are considered as exercises, but this is not entirely correct.

What is the difference between yoga and exercise? Before knowing this, we need to understand what is yoga?  and what is exercise? What are their methods and benefits?

(Read this article in Hindi :- योग और व्यायाम।)

What is Yoga?

In modern times, Yoga is an excellent activity for health. It is simple, safe, and scientifically endorsed. In reality, it is a spiritual activity. Since ancient times, it has been practiced for meditation. However, in today's time, it is considered an excellent method for physical fitness.

In ancient times, Yoga was limited to India only. Many saints and yogis introduced the world to Yoga. The world understood the importance of Yoga. Today, the whole world has embraced yoga. But what is yoga? It's not just "postures" and "breathing exercises". The complete yoga is Ashtanga Yoga". Let's see what is Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtang Yoga.

To keep the body healthy, our sages have invented Ashtanga Yoga. It is the complete yoga, consisting of eight limbs:-

1. Yama :- Social ethics, moral codes.

2. Niyama :- Personal purity and self discipline.

3. Asana :- Physical strength.

4. Pranayama :- Breathing exercises.

5. Pratyahara :- Control of the senses.

6. Dharana :- Concentration of the mind.

7. Dhyana :- Meditation.

8. Samadhi :- complete yoga, fully control of mind (Chitta Vriti).

In modern times, the emphasis is often on Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breath control) for health. However, when practicing Yoga, we should have knowledge of all eight limbs.

Let's understand about "Asana" and "Pranayama."

Asanas and Pranayama.

Asanas and Pranayama are important practices in Yoga. These are the third and fourth steps in the sequence of Ashtanga Yoga. Both of these are beneficial for the body, especially in modern times, for physical fitness.

Asanas strengthen the body, while Pranayama enhances respiratory control and increases the supply of oxygen, keeping the heart healthy.

What is Exercise?

Sports, running, using gym equipment - all these are exercises. Exercise primarily provides strength to the body. Other aspects like breath, Prana (Life-Energy), mind, and meditation are not focused on in this activity.

Yoga and exercise - what are the differences?

Both activities are beneficial for the body. However, there is a significant difference between the both activities.

1. Difference in Method :-

The methods of both activities differ. Yoga is a discipline activity, not just physical exertion.

Exercise :- It involves strenuous physical activity suitable for the healthy and the young. This activity induces stress in the body due to its forceful nature. It affects only the body and muscles.

Yoga :- It involves gentle movements, tailored to one's physical capabilities. Each movement is followed by relaxation. Yoga activities do not cause stress in the body.

2. Difference in Impact :-

Both yoga and exercise affect the body, but there is a considerable difference in their effects.

Exercise :- This activity strengthens only the outer body, with limited impact on external body parts.

Yoga :- The impact of yoga is comprehensive, not only on the body but also on our overall life. It affects all aspects and parts of the body, mind, and breath. Yoga postures (Asanas) keep the body healthy, and breathing exercises (Pranayama) strengthen the breath. Yoga affects the body, mind, and breath, while exercise mainly impacts external body parts

3. Difference in Rules :-

There is a difference in the rules for both activities. Yoga follows a disciplined approach with a focus on rules and discipline, while exercise does not emphasize rules to the same extent.

4. Physical Fitness Capability.

There is a difference in terms of physical fitness in both activities.

Exercise :- Only young and healthy individuals can perform this activity. Elderly individuals may not be able to do all exercises, especially if they are unwell.

Yoga :- Both young and elderly individuals can perform yoga activities according to their body's capability. Exercising may not be possible for someone suffering from an illness. However, yoga can be practiced with some  cautions and under certain guidelines even for someone with health issues.

5. Difference in Convenience.

There is also a difference in convenience between Yoga and Exercise.

Exercise :- In this activity, one needs equipment (tools) or has to join a gym, which can incur various expenses. Therefore, it is not convenient for everyone.

Yoga :- It is simple and easy for everyone. Practicing yoga doesn't incur any cost. You can do yoga in a park or at home for free. It doesn't require any equipment, it only requires discipline.

Article Summary :-

Yoga and exercise are both practiced for health benefits. However, there is a difference in both activities. Exercise focuses only on physical fitness, while yoga affects not only physical fitness but also the internal organs of the body. The effects of exercise are limited, whereas yoga has a broader impact.

Disclaimer :-

This article is not for any form of medical treatment. The purpose of this article is to provide information about yoga. Individuals with medical conditions should practice yoga as advised by their healthcare provider. Practicing yoga without medical advice can be harmful.

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