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What is the difference between yoga and a workout?
(The following is inspired by a transcript from the very intelligent and soulful Simon Borg-Olivier)
What matters most in your life? Feeling good or looking good? When we are younger, looking good is often a very important component...but as you get older feeling good tends to become much more important....
Looking good is often an important part of what we want for each day, right? We get up out of bed, look in the mirror and make sure we look good. But as we get older, feeling good tends to become much more important....
"It's not easy to have useful purpose to the world or to help others unless you feel good."
"To feel good we generally need to be physically pain-free and functional. The body will feel physically better if we have a balance between strength and flexibility using natural posture, movement and breath."
We also need to think about balance between physically feeling good in our bodies and also feeling good emotionally (mental body). Being healthy and feeling good is about having lots of energy while also remaining balanced and calm.
I think it's important to differentiate between practicing yoga and doing a workout to help strengthen the relationship between the two. They are both great, but different if you take away the physical movement piece.
The practice of yoga is very focused on the breath, or it should be. The control of the breath comes first, movement second. And if you think about it, they help each other in a way. Ideally, after practicing yoga, the invitation is to feel more grounded and relaxed, but also with more energy and less stiffness.
During a workout, the breath is often times an after-thought, or an impulse. After a workout, there is normally a sensation of exhaustion and the need for food and sleep. Working out can also come with the intention of pushing our limits, going to the point of failure or being aggressive to reach results.
However, yoga can certainly feel like a workout, don't get me wrong....but as is taught in the Patanjali's Yoga Sutra's, we must always strive for a balance between steadiness and ease in our movements. If we lose control of purposeful breathing while practicing yoga, then we must pause and come back to ease.
Yoga is not necessarily a workout, but rather a building of stamina, a building of intensely strong patience that ultimately translates into power in the body and mind.
It's not to say that one is better than the other, just different.
Some people just practice yoga for the workout though, or is it really for the "workout"?
Is there a misunderstanding of what that "yoga high" feeling is all about?
Hello, I'm Julie.
Yoga to inspire preventative health and better quality of life. Bring wisdom, nourishment and a deeper connection to all aspects of your life.