The Three Main Differences Between Yoga and Fitness
Yoga is a great way to stay healthy. With the many different options of asana practice that are now available, you can choose exactly which kind of flow you’d like to participate in. Yoga isn’t only about physical fitness. Asana (physical yoga postures) is only one part of your yoga practice that helps to strengthen your mind. For those who practice yoga for fitness, the lines can get blurred when talking about the differences between the two. We put together this quick, go-to guide on the three main differences between yoga and fitness.
Yoga focuses on using bodyweight to build strength while fitness focuses on the use of weights and machines.
Yoga asana (physical postures) uses the weight of the body and mindful movement to build strength. This allows you to be connected with your body as you move from one pose to the next. Fitness can use body weight as a tool for building strength but tends to focus more on use of equipment such as dumbbells and weight machines to strengthen your physical body. This places an emphasis on the number of reps and amount of weight being lifted.
Yoga aims to still the mind and be present while fitness pushes you to progress quickly putting more emphasis on the future.
The main goal of yoga is to build a practice that allows you to detach from the buzzing of your thoughts. It isn’t about how quickly you can achieve certain poses or sequences. Yoga is about looking inward and learning to be comfortable with where you are in your practice in that moment. Knowing that you will progress naturally at your own pace. The main goal of fitness is to consistently push your body to lift more, run faster and progress as quickly as possible. Fitness pushes us to aim higher than where we are in that moment and there is much more emphasis that more or faster is better.
Yoga is measured in mindfulness whereas fitness is measured in endurance.
Progress within your yoga practice can be seen in the changes of mindset when responding to problems. For example, your ability to focus and remain calm even if you are experiencing a hectic day. Progress within your fitness practice can be seen in the way your physical body changes and when your level of endurance increases, resulting in your body being able to lift more, run faster or engage in physical activity for longer periods of time.
Yoga and fitness have many differences that set them apart but they also share one key thing in common. They’re both important for building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A balanced yoga practice and fitness routine can complement each other and keep you feeling your best.
About the Author:
Brooke Kathleen - Also known as the Unicorn Yogi, Brooke began practicing yoga in 2009. She moved to New York City for work in 2013 and her practice faded out due to the inconsistent hours. In 2017 she re-discovered her practice during a very intense and difficult series of events. After devoting herself to practice for another year she realized that she wanted to learn how to share the tools that yoga had given her to heal and grow with others. She found Vikasa online while researching and fell in love with the curriculum and location. The rest is history!
New York, USA