The basic difference between yoga and other forms of regular exercises such as running, working out at a gym, etc is that while regular exercise is intended to tone and strengthen the body, yoga’s intention goes well beyond body toning.The main aim of yoga is to yoga reach Samadhi, a higher state of consciousness and also for the purification of our mind in order to release the energy blocks.The main objective of yoga is to create an absolute balance of the interacting activities and processes of the physical body, mind and energy. When this balance is created, the impulses generated give a call of awakening to the central force which is responsible for the evolution of human consciousness.
- It is a multifaceted spiritual tool with enhanced health and well-being as one of its positive effects. The components of yoga which are very commonly applied for health benefits are asanas (physical postures), pranayama (regulated breathing) and meditation. In the context of asanas, yoga resembles more of a physical exercise, which may lead to the perception that yoga is another kind of physical exercise.
- The very meaning of the word yoga (controlling the mental modifications; communion with the universal) (Iyengar, 2007) signifies the importance it attaches to mental and spiritual well-being, stretching beyond just physical well-being.
- Exercise is defined as the ‘activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness’. However, if we consider exercise to be any form of physical activity, then exercise surely dates back to the origin of the species, when humans exercised regularly, even if they may not have understood the concept of exercise at the time. Hunting, ritualistic dancing, and building shelter were – and still are – various forms of exercise.