Many of you ask me about the differences between physical exercise and yoga.
However, each body is different and complementing yoga with other forms of more vigorous exercise is fine. My advice is that asanas (yoga postures) should predominate during a workout and not the opposite. Just look quickly at the differences between one and the other, and you can see that the practice of asanas is a much more balanced, complete and harmonious exercise.
-In the practice of asanas, the oxygen consumption is reduced while when we do a sport like running or swimming, it increases.
-When we perform asanas the respiration rate drops, while in physical exercises it increases.
-In yoga, the body temperature drops while in other exercises it tends to increase.
-In the asanas the muscles receive minimal nutrition (oxygen) and the organs receive more, while in other exercises, the muscles receive a greater nutrition of oxygen at the expense of the other organs.
-The practice of asanas help to harmonize endocrine secretions, balancing emotions, something that does not occur in many cases of other forms of exercises.
-In most physical exercises tend to overwork the joints and can often generate the rheumatism and rigidity that arise later in life. The opposite happens in the case of asanas.
-The yoga postures stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (controls the functions and involuntary acts) while other exercises stimulate the nervous sympathetic system (in charge of the innervation of the smooth muscles, the cardiac muscle and the glands of the whole organism).
– Unlike most exercises, asanas are performed slowly, with relaxation and awareness that also encourages coordination between the body system and the mind.
-The majority of physical exercises tend to accumulate toxins in the body, while the asanas eliminate them.
-The yoga develops inner awareness.
A traditional definition of asana, according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra: “Sthiram, Sukham, āsanam”, means that asana is a position of the body and a state of being in which one can remain constant, calm and comfortable. Therefore, the essential thing is to get to know more and more our body and give everything that feels good.