Is Yoga a sport? How is it different from physical exercises?

Yoga sports

Yoga is like other sport; it’s a self-practice and improves physical health Yoga, especially posture practice, is one kind of a special body training, If we remove the concentration practice, body awareness, breathing (pranayama) and meditation (Dhyana). It is exactly like gymnastic, the only thing is, it is softer and slower.

Physical exercise includes “warm up”, “controlling your breath” and “Tuning your mind”. For example “warm up” is the major part of the physical exercise, breathing is important too. Like for a marathon runner, one must be able to use breathing to synchronize with the steps. Physical exercise also focuses on the influence of mentality. Almost all sports result is determined by the emotional stability of the athletes. Only the level of influences is varying.

However, there is a huge difference between yoga and physical exercise:

1. Physical exercise focus on “warm up” - the “must’ before the exercise. The purpose of breathing is to regulate the supply of oxygen throughout the practice and constantly removing carbon dioxide to make sure there is a sufficient supply to the lost of energy from the brain and muscles and smooth competition. The goal is to fully exert the power of our body after all the practices. And “tuning your mind” is to make sure the posture is being performed well. Comparatively, most yoga practice nowadays are almost the same as physical exercises, including some of the yoga teacher training courses, most basic module are following this process. The difference of you is there are 3 main components that is totally the opposite of physical exercise. It is the union of Mind, breath and body. Controlling the mind plays a decisive leading role while controlling the body is to enable the mind and breathes functioning well. Controlling your breath helps to relax and calm the nervous system. The combination of these three helps to achieve Yoga’s aim of relaxed and calm state of mind, from the body awareness to internal function to self adjustment and practice, through a unique mental process to change our physiological state and achieved the goal of self healing and strong body.

2. Comparing with physical exercise, yoga stresses more on mental state that affects the overall health. It emphasizes on using the self-awareness practice to adjust the physiological state of our body. When our body enters into a calm state, we are able to adjust and promote body’s physiological potential and ultimately achieve the goal of self-healing and strong body.

3. Yoga is an exercise that requires breathing when our body entered into a quite and calm state. It required us to maintain a naturally calm and relaxed state with synchronization of the slow and smooth breath in order to reduce oxygen consumption that would reduce the heartbeat rate and blood pressure that ultimately improves the overall health being. This is totally different from the physical exercise that increases the breathing rate that requires a larger consumption of oxygen that will result in heart rate and blood pressure increased. Thereby increases metabolism of certain part of the body, allowing some specific body part to have a perfect development.