Yoga V/S Gym: Which Is Better For You?

Everyone aspires to live a healthy lifestyle – physically and mentally. One of the main components of living healthy is exercise. 

Here are what various studies and research data say about exercising! 

If you want to start exercising, there are essentially two ways to go about it – Gym and Yoga.

This guide has all the relevant information to help you make an informed decision that will help you get on track. You will learn about the purpose, benefits, and drawbacks of going to the gym and practising Yoga. 

 

Purpose of exercising – Gym v/s Yoga

Gym vs Yoga

 

Working out in a gymnasium helps in creating a fit physique by building muscle. On the other hand, Yoga provides overall flexibility and agility in the body.

However, the ultimate purpose is to adopt healthy ways of living, irrespective of the form you choose.


Benefits of Gym

Let’s take a look at the benefits of exercising in the gym.

Gym
1. A personal trainer who can guide you

When exercising in a gym, you receive personalized guidance from a trainer. 

A trainer ensures that you are in the correct form while exercising, helping you avoid any muscle pulls or serious injuries. Moreover, they provide customized solutions to help you achieve the physique you desire.

In turn, this creates interaction and accountability to be consistent and efficient with your workouts

2. Variety of Gym Workouts

Depending on the body type and your desired physique, a gym offers various exercises, such as – Cardio, Strength Training, Group Fitness Classes, etc.

Your gym trainer will ideally create a custom exercise routine for you, which will consist of a combination of mainly these workouts. 

At the end of the day, exercising in the gym will challenge you and your body to overcome physical and mental limitations. You may also feel motivated to push yourself if you work out in the presence of other people.

 

3. Equipment for personalized training

You can choose from various workout equipment – dumbells, kettles, barbells, jump rope, treadmills, etc. Every piece of equipment targets a particular group of muscles. 

Moreover, using equipment is a great way to start working out as they help you achieve the correct form. 

 

4. Profuse Amounts of Sweat

Due to workouts being highly intense, exercising at the gym helps burn lots of calories and fat. In turn, you release a lot of sweat. 

Sweating is a sign of releasing toxins while maintaining and regulating body temperature.

 

Benefits Of  Yoga

Yoga

Let’s take a look at the benefits of practicing Yoga.

 

1. Beginner Friendly

If you are new to Yoga, you can ease your way into the journey through simple meditation and mild stretching. Unlike exercising at the gym, Yoga gives you the flexibility to choose how you want to start at a comfortable pace.

 

2. All-Inclusive

Irrespective of your age and medical condition, you can start practicing Yoga

Through a combination of exercises and asanas, you can get your heart pumping and blood flowing. 

 

3. Minimal to no equipment required

To practice Yoga, there are only two things you require – your presence and a Yoga mat. 

Investing in a Yoga mat is necessary as they provide a cushioned surface and better footing on the ground while practising asanas. Moreover, Yoga mats are cost-efficient too.

 

4. Integration of mind, body, and soul

Practicing Yoga not just enables flexibility and agility in the body but also increases our level of mindfulness. 

Yoga allows you to focus on the impact and experience of the asana you’re doing. Moreover, Yoga-based exercises are combined with deep breathing. 

In turn, this allows you to expand your muscles, relax your mind, and release stress. You’re always listening to your body while doing Yoga.

 

5. Individualistic Approach

Yoga provides optimum results when practised all by yourself. 

In the initial phases, you will require a Yoga instructor to help you guide you through the process. However, you get used to performing various asanas after some time based on what your body requires.

 

Drawbacks  of Gym

The various drawbacks of exercising at the gym are listed below.

 

1. Not Budget Friendly

Well-known gyms have membership prices in India that are relatively heavy on the pocket. Their fee range usually varies from approximately Rs. 11000 to Rs. 22000 every three months

 

2. Prone to physical injuries and burnouts

Being excessively motivated can cause adversities such as muscle pulls or cramps, over-exhaustion, and even physical burnouts despite taking adequate precautions.

You may be pushing yourself to achieve the perfect physique. However, rushing through your regime can have physically adverse impacts. 

On not addressing the need of the body, these impacts will only be prolonged. In turn, this will cause more stress.

 

3. Tendency to compete

Many people are exercising in the gym, making us feel as if they are watching us. As a result, we might feel internally compelled to overdo our exercise regime. Examples include –

  • Increasing the number of reps or sets
  • Increasing the weight of equipment
  • Over exerting our body while exercising without realizing

 

Drawbacks of Yoga

The various drawbacks of practicing Yoga asanas and exercises are listed below.

 

1. Slow and Passive Results

Most of the benefits from Yoga-based asanas are passive, meaning they can be felt inside your body. 

Exterior changes take months to show when you’re consistent every single day. On the other hand, if you practise Yoga twice-thrice a week, you might feel almost no physical changes.

 

2. Keeping up with a variety of postures

Unlike gym-based routines, there are countless yoga postures and asanas that you have to practice. Therefore, creating a pattern based on these exercises is not feasible.

 

3. Prone to being ill-informed

There are many types of Yoga, such as –

  • Hatha Yoga 
  • Raj Yoga 
  • Ashtanga Yoga

 

4. Different schools of thought preach different ideologies. 

Some schools believe that Yoga should be practiced in a comfortable environment. On the contrary, other schools think it is essential to practice intense asanas in harsh climatic conditions. 

Therefore, this may create confusion in your mind, especially when you’re starting out.

 

Comparative Table

You may go through this summarised comparative table for a quick and easy assessment between Gym and Yoga.

Gym Yoga
Purpose The main purpose of exercising in a gym is to achieve a fit body via muscle building. The main purpose of practising Yoga is to achieve overall flexibility and agility in the body; while integrating the mind, body, and soul.
Benefits You receive personalised guidance from a dedicated trainer. There are a variety of gym workouts. Dedicated equipment for personalised training is available. You release profuse amounts of sweat. Workouts in the gym result in an overall improvement in the physique that is quick and visible. Yoga is beginner-friendly. It is inclusive of all age groups and physical conditions. You require minimal to no equipment needed to practise asanas. Yoga integrates the mind, body, and soulYoga has an individualistic approach.
Drawbacks Reputed gyms are not budget-friendly. You are prone to physical injuries, overexertion, burnouts, and other risks. You may develop an innate tendency to compete either by increasing reps, sets, or equipment weight. Yoga provides slow, prolonged and passive results that are mainly felt in the body. Moreover, there are very few exterior changes that you notice. You have to keep up with various postures and asanas as different exercises target different groups of muscles. Learning about different schools of Yog and their ideologies may result in being ill-informed or misinformed.

 

Conclusion

While both forms of exercise have their own purpose, benefits, and drawbacks; it entirely depends on your personal preference. 

Factors such as time management, motivation, and the kind of results you want for your body come into consideration while making a well-informed decision.

You can apply for a gym membership if you – 

  • Want an adrenaline rush and obtain quicker results that make you look and feel good.
  • Seek motivation through the encouraging words and actions of people around you.
  • Want to start your fitness journey and seek constant professional guidance along the way.
  • Want to cut fat and build muscle.

 

However, make sure you go through the membership fee and pricing schemes of gymnasiums around you and find one that serves your needs.

On the other hand, you may practice Yoga asanas if you want to –

  • Start slow and at your own, comfortable pace with some guidance.
  • Achieve a harmonious balance between the mind, body, and soul.
  • Avoid using a lot of equipment.
  • Be flexible and agile by strengthening your muscles.

Before practising Yoga, consult and consider a certified Yoga instructor’s advice. You can also clear your doubts with them as it will help you make a suitable choice.) 

Did you find this guide informative and insightful? Feel free to express your thoughts and suggestions in the comment box below! 

If you exercise in a gym, practice yoga, or exercise through a combination pattern of both forms, let us know of the benefits and drawbacks that you experienced.

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Dr. Med. Raoul Hasert is a specialist in dermatology and venereology. He is a senior physician in Praxisklinik Dr. Hasert.

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