Is Yoga Considered Exercise?
Yoga Pose

Yoga is an old discipline that entails physical postures, meditation, and deep breathing. Most people participate in this physical activity to increase their flexibility and alleviate tension. Additionally, yoga promotes self-reflection, kindness, self-compassion, and continual growth.

There is no doubt that this practice aids in the development of strength, breathing, and even mental health. However, many individuals have argued about whether this is considered exercise.

What is exercise? 

Exercise is defined as physical activity that involves exerting the body through movement and elevating the heart rate. In general, exercise is defined as any movement that engages your muscles and compels your body to burn calories.

Is yoga considered an exercise?

The simple answer is yes. To be more specific, yoga is a total-body workout that incorporates strengthening and stretching poses, deep breathing, and meditation or relaxation.

Why is yoga considered an exercise? 

Yoga elevates the heart rate. 

Yoga practice has a beneficial influence on heart rate. The heart rate will increase in more active postures or sequences, whether standing, sitting, or lying. This is extremely similar to what occurs when one engages in any other type of physical activity. 

When you exercise, your heart normally beats quicker to increase blood flow to your body. This is because your muscles require extra oxygen. Accelerating your heart rate teaches your body to deliver oxygen and blood to your muscles more efficiently, which results in increased calorie burn and cholesterol reduction.

Yoga burns calories.

When you are active, your body expends more energy and consequently more calories. Increased calorie burn can assist you in losing and maintaining a healthy weight. Furthermore, the number of calories you burn when doing yoga is determined by your body weight and your activity time.

Yoga increases flexibility.

Flexibility contributes to muscle length maintenance and prevents muscular shortening. Yoga poses benefit your muscles by stretching them and expanding your range of motion. Additionally, this activity can help you improve your movement and feel less stiff or exhausted over time. Some of the best poses for flexibility include Parsvottanasana, Janu Sirsasana, Bitilasana Marjaryasana, and Dhanurasana. 

Yoga improves strength. 

Strength training may improve your overall quality of life and ability to do daily activities. These exercises can also assist increase bone density and decreasing the incidence of fractures. Maintaining a balanced stance in yoga sessions require considerable strength. Therefore, regular practice will help to build your body’s muscles.

If you want to improve your core strength, the plank position can help you with that. However, if you’re looking to strengthen your legs, try the chair pose, squat position, or wide-legged forward fold. For optimal effects, yoga is most effective when practised between two and five times a week.

Yoga improves holistic health. 

For starters, practising yoga regularly will significantly benefit your heart health. This is because exercise can help lower stress and systemic inflammation, contributing to heart health. Additionally, yoga can assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. 

Yoga can also effectively help you sleep better. You may be able to fall asleep more quickly and longer. The best yoga poses for better sleep includes Uttanasana, Halasana, Viparita Karani, and Shishuasana. 

How can I start doing yoga? 

The good news is, yoga has many varieties and can be practised with different intensity levels. Therefore, everyone can do the exercise. 

To begin, you should first understand what yoga is. This practice goes beyond physical exercise. Yoga enhances brain regions associated with memory, attention, consciousness, cognition, and language. Additionally, consistent yoga practice promotes mental clarity and relaxation. Therefore, when doing yoga, you should recognise that you are not doing this only as a form of exercise but to benefit your entire well-being. 

Another key aspect as a beginner in yoga is to focus on your breathing. Conscious breathing is fundamental to yoga because it enables you to connect with our subtle energy inside. Pranayama is the practice of controlling one’s breath and is frequently combined with yoga and meditation. Moreover, some say that the most critical aspect of yoga’s physical practice is prana, not the poses themselves. You can practice breathing by taking long, slow, and deep breaths in and out through your nose while walking at a moderate pace. 

Once you feel ready to practice yoga, you can begin with the relatively simple poses. This includes the following: 

  1. Mountain pose
  2. Downward-facing dog 
  3. Warrior I pose 
  4. Warrior II pose 
  5. Triangle pose 
  6. Bridge pose 
  7. Tree pose 
  8. Chair pose 
  9. Forward fold 
  10. Plank pose 

All these poses will serve as the foundation for learning the more complex yoga movements. However, the best way to navigate through the world of yoga is with the help of experienced instructors. 

There are various methods for locating the ideal yoga instructor for you. You can start your search online or ask other people you know who are doing yoga. In general, you should find someone authentic and humble who you can trust throughout the sessions you will be taking. 

Finding the best yoga studio 

At Sculpt and Flow Fitness, we believe that the forms we create in Yoga classes serve as a gateway to assist you in diving into anything you feel comfortable doing. We believe in the inherent authenticity and non-competitive nature of yoga, which is why our courses are open to all levels of skill and expertise. 

Our yoga courses combine the flow of Power Yoga with encouragement to provide our clients with the best possible experience. Contact us today to book your next yoga training session at our yoga studio Newcastle