The Surprising Reasons Why Yoga is Better Than Going to the Gym

Why Yoga is Better Than Going to the Gym
Yoga, being an all-round exercise, assures a healthy body, mind, and spirit. It is also a cheaper and more convenient way of working out, as it can be done anywhere and at any time. With these, and many more arguments, yoga actually fares much better than going to the gym.
International Yoga Day
June 21 was declared International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly, in December 2014.
While deciding any type of exercise over the other, your approach and purpose behind making a choice is very important. Let's say yoga is the best. But, it is not like an intensive 15-day routine that will help you lose five pounds a week. Although, if you seek complete health, then it is the perfect option for you.

In this age of race and competition, what we continuously aim at is achieving a balance. That is what yoga teaches us. To balance, not only through physical postures, but throughout several facets in our life. According to Patanjali, yoga is 'Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha', or the cessation of mental fluctuations. Calming the mind is what yoga is all about. So gym or yoga? Which is better? Let's find out.
Why Yoga is Good For You
Tones the Body and Mind
Woman doing yoga in park
Going to the gym mostly trains only the physique. It strengthens the muscles and makes the body sturdy and well-built. Yoga, on the other hand, tones the body as well as the mind. Flexibility is attained when you practice different asanas (postures); these make you lean. But yoga is not merely about the asanas, as it also includes various breathing practices that ensure a healthy and peaceful mind.
No Equipment Needed
Mother and baby doing yoga at home
Except for the fact that you must be awake, yoga requires no preparation, nor any heavy equipment for a workout. It can be practiced anywhere. If I feel like doing some asanas early in the morning at 4 o'clock, I can. All I need is myself, and perhaps a mat (a carpet works too). That is definitely affordable, right?
No Risk of Injuries
Another point where yoga wins over training in the gym, is that it is free from any risks of physical injury. You do not have the chance of accidentally hurting yourself because you lifted weights, or because you were in an uncomfortable position. In yoga, you move and stretch with ease, and only where you can.
Improves Metabolism
Metabolism refers to the chemical processes within our body that break down matter (food) to produce energy components like proteins. Digestion is an important element of metabolism. Yoga improves your digestive system. If you do not feel hunger, you would start to, or if you tend to overeat, you would begin to cut down on some comfort food.
Non-competitive
Woman practicing yoga asana
The environment in a gym is different, where you tend to compare yourself with the people around you. How much faster, how much better than others can I do, is the goal while you are walking on a treadmill or in an aerobics session. You tend to simply follow the group in a gym routine. On the contrary, yoga requires you to focus on yourself, no one else matters. You may be a little bulkier than others, but the shape of your body is not important here.
A Stress Buster
After a heavy workout at the gym, you may experience fatigue and tiredness. Alternatively, with yoga, which mostly ends with a few minutes of breathing and meditation, you don't experience that. It is a powerful stress buster, as it heals you from both, the outside and inside.
Healthy Eating Habits
A routine in the gym may make you feel hungry after exercise, and also stressed out at times. You may end up consuming as much calories as you burned, or even more. The goodness of yoga lies in that it naturally directs you to healthy dietary habits. You tend to eat at the right times, and the right quantities of highly nutritious foods. All because you know the rhythm of your body.
Breathing Connects the Mind and Body
Group of people meditate in park
Mindfulness, being in the present, and introspection occurs, of course, when one practices yoga. Any change in our emotions alters our breathing pattern. So, our breath is the only powerful tool to control our emotions, that further helps us maintain a healthy body. We learn about our body through a variety of postures. The mind-body union, which is the basic underlying concept of 'yoga' ('yuj' the root term meaning union), also improves memory and the ability to concentrate.
Saves Time and Money
One of the simplest reasons of why yoga is good, is that it saves a lot of time and money. You need not waste your time in traveling to the gym, nor adjusting yourself to the gym timings. Also, the fees you pay to get in shape seem a waste when you again put on weight, because you discontinued the exercise. Yoga saves you all that trouble.
Physical exercise combined with meditation inculcates happiness and peace within. So, especially today, when most of the stress is mental and psychological, yoga provides a better way to find your own self, and accept it happily.