Yoga & Exercise: Are they the same or different?

People say they do yoga for exercise. I do both Yoga AND exercise. I don’t class them as the same thing. It’s all about a balanced lifestyle. From being an avid Yogi and Gym Junkie I can safely say the results from both Yoga and training in the Gym are completely different but regardless both so so beneficial.

Since last September when I began Yoga Teacher Training I have been going through a battle between training and Yoga. I’ve been on the fence, dumbbells on one side and my yoga mat on the other.  Since then I have been going through a constant battle with myself. I need to make sure I do a bit of self practice Yoga every day so that I can be a good example to my future students and be a professional Yoga Teacher by the end of the YTT course. However, having the mind and body that I do, I can tell you now that just doing Yoga is NOT ENOUGH for me.

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Self Practice Progress

Many people have suggested that I give up training for now and focus solely on Yoga. Easier said than done.

“I don’t understand why you are training?? What are you training for? It’s pointless!”

Sorry but the question is why are you NOT training?

From someone who has suffered through the struggle of dealing with mental health, throughout the tough times I had such an unhealthy lifestyle and due to these habits I fell into a downward spiral. I had always been quite petite and thin but after going through a difficult time in my life I was going out partying every weekend and filling my body with all the junk food I could eat with damn all exercise in between. My body began swelling up, I was unhappy and I felt ugly and unhealthy. Throughout this time I took to Yoga. I began practice both at home and in the studio, focusing on meditation and positive thoughts, positive actions (it actually works). Although this helped me come to the realisation and awareness of the rut I was stuck in. It wasn’t enough.

YOGA WAS NOT ENOUGH. Yes for the people who know me, they will be shocked because they know how much I absolutely adore Yoga, it’s my way of life. However for someone like myself it is just not enough.

Why? It doesn’t have the same effect on my body as training does. When I say training I mean working out my full body in the gym- mainly strength and conditioning.

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My first time competing in a Crossfit event

The time I began training is when I was finally released from the hold that depression was trying to have on me. There are that many health benefits of exercise out there that I don’t even need to list for you, there are that many of them and well known at that. From training, getting a sweat on, I felt happier in my body and especially my mental health. By the way you don’t need the gym to achieve this. Even just going for a run or doing a home workout does wonders for mind and body.

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To be honest doing both on a weekly basis is just amazing and both have such different effects. Yoga makes me feel at ease and calm and has a great effect on my body to lengthen my muscles which further benefits  my training. It helps me give my body a rest while still working it in a different way. It also helps me to be a better person by living through Yoga Philosophy.

Training makes me feel alive, fit and healthy. I get agitated and grumpy when I don’t train for a while and doing ALL the Yoga in the world doesn’t get rid of that restlessness for me. We are humans and we were built to survive. This is why I need to train and push my body to work hard to make it stronger and healthier. It’s so so important to exercise because the benefits of both your physical and mental health from it are absolutely amazing.

So yeah I tried to stop training and focus only on Yoga practice. But not a hope. I began to dislike self practice because I didn’t feel physically satisfied with just that. So by making a good balance between the two I appreciate and enjoy both much more. So everything in moderation. Balance is the key 🙂

Do you find the same struggle?

Thank you for reading guys 🙂

Nadia

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