Yoga and gym

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Buddha

This Buddha quote highlights the connection between physical health and mental clarity. When our bodies are well-maintained, our minds are better equipped to handle stress, think clearly, and maintain emotional balance. This is a principle one forgets in today’s fast-pacing world where maintaining both physical and mental health is universally acknowledged.

At some point, many of us realize the need for significant lifestyle changes to improve our health. Maybe it’s been a while since you last exercised, or perhaps you’re simply looking to adopt a healthier way of living. Faced with the challenge of enhancing your fitness, you might be considering which path to take.

Two popular methods might come to your mind right now : Yoga and Gym. This blog post will go on in detail about both approaches and how they can be combined for a balanced and effective fitness routine. 

Yoga, with its history dating back to the past, focuses on enhancing flexibility, balance, and mental clarity through postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Whereas the gym provides a more equipment-based regime aimed at building muscle strength and improving cardiovascular health.

Relying on a single approach can limit your overall fitness. Yoga might not offer the muscle mass some seek, while the gym might not provide the mental relaxation and flexibility benefits that yoga does. Combining both gym and yoga, however, can create a more inclusive fitness routine that addresses various aspects, leading to improved muscle activation, better posture, increased strength, and reduced stress.

Yoga Apart From The Asanas

“Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in, and this is the point of spiritual practice: to make us teachable, to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are.

Yoga is often perceived merely as a series of physical postures for improving flexibility and strength. However, its essence extends far beyond the poses. 

At its core, yoga is a journey inward. It is about developing a sense of openness and awareness, allowing us to connect with our true selves. This internal focus is what distinguishes yoga from other forms of exercise. It encourages us to quieten our minds, listen to our inner voice, and embodies the wisdom that resides within us.

Regular yoga practice can greatly improve your flexibility, balance, and core strength. The stretching and lengthening of muscles in yoga poses enhance joint mobility and overall flexibility, this prevents injuries and maintains a full range of motion.

Yoga promotes balance, both physically and mentally. Physically, exercise such as Surya Namaskara helps to develop stability and coordination, which are essential for performing everyday activities and other forms of exercise safely. Mentally, yoga encourages mindfulness and stress reduction. Techniques such as Pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation will make your inner calm and focused, reducing stress and anxiety. This mental clarity and low stress level positively affect your overall fitness, making you more resilient and focused during other physical activities.

By integrating these principles into our daily lives, we become more mindful and centered. Yoga helps us recognize and release patterns of thought and behavior that no longer serve us, guiding us toward a more authentic and fulfilling existence. It’s about becoming teachable, opening our hearts, and focusing our awareness, so that we can fully realize our potential and grasp our true human nature.

Build Up Yourself with Gym

It seems like hitting the gym is all there is these days, especially among Millennials who are leading the pack with an impressive 81% participation rate in exercise activities. (source). In fact take a look at this chart that illustrates the distribution of gym memberships across different age groups.

( When it comes to gym memberships:

  • 16% are Gen Z (under 22 years old) (source).
  • 35% are Millennials (23-42 years old) (source).
  • 22% are Gen X (43-57 years old) (source).
  • 21% are Boomers (58-77 years old) (source).

6% are the Silent generation (78 or older) (source). )

There is a rise of active partnership from various age groups presently. And it’s not just the traditional gym visits that are gaining popularity; virtual gym lessons are also increasing, giving people more options to exercise wherever they are. But why is there a surge in gym memberships and virtual workouts?

The gym offers a variety of equipment and exercises that target different muscle groups, from free weights and resistance machines to cardio machines like treadmills and ellipticals. This variety allows for an all-inclusive workout that can be personalized to individual fitness goals, whether it’s gaining muscle mass, losing weight, or improving muscle endurance.

But here’s the thing: it’s not just about showing up and lifting weights randomly. Proper form and guidance are important to making the most of your gym time and avoiding those possible injuries. Luckily, many gyms offer access to expert trainers who can give you personalized advice and tailor-made workout plans. This way you can be on the right track to reaching your fitness goals.

How Gym and Yoga Work Together

Combining yoga and gym workouts creates a synergy that enhances overall fitness. Yoga’s emphasis on flexibility and core strength complements gym exercises well. Improved flexibility from yoga means you can complete that deep squat or reach further during your weightlifting session. The core strength you build in yoga classes helps you maintain proper form and posture, whether you’re lifting weights or performing cardio exercises. 

Have you ever stumbled during a squat or struggled to stay steady during a lunge? Yoga will help with bringing you the focus on balance which will directly translate to better stability during gym workouts. This reinforced stability not only improves performance but also helps in injury prevention.

After a tough gym session, ever feel like your mind is still racing? The mindfulness techniques in Yoga, like deep breathing and meditation, can help you wind down, reduce muscle tension, and promote quicker recovery. Plus, staying present during workouts means you can perform each move with the right intention. Thus the combination of  gym and yoga can go hand-in-hand towards fitness. 

Conclusion

In summary, gym and yoga is a winning partnership that addresses both the body and the mind. This approach not only enhances physical attributes like strength, flexibility, and balance but also gives importance to  mental well-being through stress reduction and mindfulness. Integrating both yoga and gym practices in your daily life will only result in positive outcomes of wellness. However, it’s essential to be careful about which approach works best for you and to seek expert advice before concluding your fitness regime. Remember, finding the right balance between gym and yoga will aid you to achieve your fitness goals and overall well-being.

Dr. Arundeep M

Assistant Professor (BAMS, RYT, MD)

Dr. Arundeep M, a dedicated Ayurveda Doctor with a profound passion for holistic wellness. He is also a Certified Yoga Trainer, making him well-versed in both ancient traditions to inspire a healthier and more balanced world. As an Assistant Professor at Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Dr. Arundeep is on a transformative journey to spread the wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda, unlocking the secrets to a harmonious life. Join him on this empowering path and embrace the power of these ancient traditions for a more fulfilling and enriched existence.

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