Sick of the same old gym routines? We’ve got a good exercise for you. While heading to the gym to lift or do cardio might seem like the best workout, yoga actually gives the gym a run for its money — and it can be performed right in your living room! All you need is a mat and some motivation. Let’s find out all the ways yoga can be better for you than going to your local gym.
Let’s be honest, sweating it out for hours at the gym isn’t for everyone, and yoga might need a little convincing to get people onboard. However, the fact is, yoga is a great workout that everyone should try! Yoga allows you to work on your strength, balance, flexibility, mind, body, soul and more. A lot of people tend to shy away from yoga because it is more than just a physical exercise. But don’t be intimidated by the awkward poses and fancy lingo, all yogis and yoga classes provide a peaceful and welcoming environment for their practice — so you can workout and feel good in a positive atmosphere!
The gym is a place where a person works out on different types of machines to build muscles and increase physical strength. You may think that pumping it out at the gym might help you achieve your fitness goals and dream physique quicker, as gym workouts are perceived to be the “ideal” workout for losing weight and building muscle. However, the good news is, if you dread those hard gym sessions (or if you just need a much-deserved break from them) yoga is an efficient workout that can help you in so many ways!
10 Reasons Yoga is Better Than the Gym
We’re not saying to ditch the gym altogether, but it might be wise to take up yoga every once in a while because of the many benefits. Much different than your average workout, here are 10 reasons yoga is better than going to the gym.
1. Yoga focuses on the mind, body, and soul.
Yoga is a fantastic exercise both internally and externally! More specifically, yoga is a total mind and body workout that combines stretching and strengthening your muscles with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation. There are many styles of yoga and thousands of poses to work your muscles. Not to mention it requires a great amount of strength, focus, and balance.
2. Yoga reduces stress.
Each yoga session typically ends in a guided meditation, or savasana, which can greatly reduce stress! In fact, that is one of the reasons people love yoga, as it allows them to wind down from their busy lives. Not only that, but the flow and fluidity between poses require balance, breathing, and stretching, which helps relieve toxins.
3. Yoga can be done anywhere.
The great thing about yoga is anyone can do it anywhere! All you need is a mat and space to practice how you’d like! Whether that’s in the morning, rolling out a mat during lunch, taking a class, or right before bed, yoga is an efficient workout that is completely free! Plus, gyms typically require you to buy a membership in order to use their facility.
4. Yoga helps prevent injury.
While gym workouts can cause injury from overuse, yoga can help prevent injuries by improving flexibility through stretching and strengthening the muscles. Yoga also aids proper alignment and helps restore the body to balance, which are crucial to healing and preventing future injuries.
5. Yoga builds muscle without bulk.
As you flow through yoga poses, you are stretching your muscles as you are strengthening them, so your body will be toned and have a leaner appearance, which is great if you are aiming for weight loss. On the other hand, gym workouts are typically filled with machines and weights that will cause your muscles to bulk up as you continue your sets.
6. Yoga is easier on the body.
Because yoga isn’t a strenuous activity that involves a lot of quick movements, it is way easier (and kinder) on the body. This is because it requires you to stretch as you move through the poses in order to prepare the body for the next one. Yoga also focuses on breathing techniques, and without breathing when you exercise, you can become fatigued.
7. Yoga improves balance and flexibility.
The many poses in yoga require a great amount of focus and balance to complete. Each pose contains a stretching element that pushes your limits of flexibility and keeps your muscles loose and healthy. In turn, this can help improve your athletic performance, and even help you in the gym!
8. Yoga is an efficient workout.
Why waste so much time at the gym working each part of your body separately when you can do it all at once with yoga? Yoga is a bodyweight exercise because you use your whole body weight as a ‘weight’ when flowing through different yoga poses (called asanas). As a result, your full body becomes more toned and much stronger. At a gym, you would have to use machines and weights to work different muscle groups in order to get a good workout.
9. Yoga isn’t competitive.
Yoga is a very peaceful and efficient exercise that pushes you to focuses on yourself. While you may take yoga classes, it doesn’t make you want to “be better” than the person next to you. In yoga, you are focused on yourself — your own mind, your own body, and your own spirit.
At the gym, it’s easy to get competitive with those who are working out next to you. Yes, it may make you better and push you to reach your goals, but it can also become frustrating and stressful, especially if you take a class.
10. Yoga is for everyone!
Whether you are young or old, an athlete or overweight, flexible or not, yoga has the power to calm your mind and strengthen your body! There are many different styles of yoga, including a variety of poses that range from easy to difficult. No matter your age or experience level, physique or physical abilities, everyone can do yoga, and benefit from it too!
While a gym session is a more tiring workout and more focused on the body, yoga is an exercise that not only can make you leaner, but also relaxes and soothes the mind. What are you waiting for? Try yoga for yourself!
Even if you are a gym rat, try swapping out a few of your weightlifting sessions with yoga and you will feel better than ever!