Yoga, Fitness and Self Improvement ? the Unending dilemma

Yoga, Fitness and Self Improvement ? the Unending dilemma


What fitness program do I choose? Should I go in for the muscular look or the lean look? Is it necessary to diet while pursuing a fitness program? What fitness program will leave me feeling refreshed and revitalized? CONFUSED? Well I should think so. With the world becoming more and more fitness conscious, everyone wants to jump into the fitness bandwagon. But this may not always be the right approach because everyone?s fitness requirements and capabilities are different.


Why does one need a fitness program? People generally choose fitness programs to improve physical and mental health. Those of us who are overworked look towards fitness as a means to relax and release anxiety. There are others who take to fitness regimes because they want to control their mood swings. One way or the other we all seek something extra. The question is how do we find that ?Something Extra??


The most popular wellness programs presently are yoga, regular aerobic/weight programs and motivational workshops. People have a general tendency to stack these practices together under the category of wellness or fitness programs. With due respect to the latter disciplines, this categorization is not fair. All three practices are unique and distinct from the other.


Yoga is a unique science and is the most complete approach to a healthy lifestyle. It urges us to explore and challenge our mind, our body and the very nature of our being. Yoga is, perhaps, the only discipline through which an individual can truly experience inner harmony. Let us try and understand the distinction between yoga and regular fitness programs with the help of the following table:


Regular Fitness Programs


1. Regular fitness programs are goal oriented.

1. Yoga is a complete process in itself.

2. Exercise only the physical elements of the body.

2. Yoga is a discipline that improves the physical, mental and emotional health of a person.

3. Focus on completing daily benchmarks.

3. Focuses on what you are doing and how you feel as you perform the postures.

4. Fitness programs are predominantly competitive in nature.

4. Yoga sessions are non-competitive and only tap the individual capacity to revitalize the body, mind and soul.

5. Concentrate on physical exertion.

5. Gentle - Concentrates on physical relaxation

6. You fail if you do not meet your daily goals.

6. In Yoga, you succeed by doing.

7. Weight training makes you stronger by breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue, thus it gives a bulky look.

7. Yoga increases HEALTH ? muscle strength is enhanced by toning them.

8. Fitness programs leave you feeling tired and burnt out.

8. Yoga sessions leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.



Did you know - Most of our anxiety and stress is caused by ego and ignorance?


Motivation workshops try to help the listener to fight both ego and ignorance, but with the power of the spoken word. Sadly, their effectiveness is limited and their influence fades away after a while. Yoga tackles these two elements by giving the learner the strength to erase his prejudices and embark on a life of a harmony and tranquility. Let us explore more deeply the differences between Yoga and Motivation workshops.



Motivation and Stress-eradication


1. Involves direct but impersonal interaction between the speaker and audience.

1. Yoga is a direct and personal interaction between the teacher and the student.

2. Interface between the parties is at an intellectual level.

2. Interface between the parties is at a spiritual level.

3. Fails to stimulate the subconscious of the listener.

3. Stimulates the subconscious of the student.

4. The spoken word has a limited impact and is forgotten or erased after a brief period.

4. Yoga evokes the positive energy trapped inside all of us and leaves an everlasting impression on the mind.

5. Only targets the intellect of the person and does little to bring about an overall development in the listener.

5. Yoga goes to a much deeper level. It targets the overall personality of the student and helps to attain equilibrium between the mind, body, breath and spirit.


Yoga is perhaps the only discipline that brings about an overall personality development and leaves one feeling confident, energetic and motivated. It creates the perfect balance in all the systems of the body. It tones the nervous system, releases anxiety and promotes inner harmony.


Yoga strengthens the immune system and helps to develop concentration, focus and mental flexibility. In our daily lives, it helps to develop awareness about the effects of stress and provides the tools to manage it. Its benefits extend from the home and the work place to every aspect of daily life. Regular practice of yoga is proven to bring improved health in mind and body, higher energy levels and increased productivity.


Yoga helps us come out of the vicious circles abundant in our secluded lifestyles. It teaches us to be humble, kind and giving. Most importantly, it not only makes us healthier and fitter, it also makes us happier and better human beings, Undoubtedly, that is the most vital requirement of our times.


Source: http://www.healthandyoga.com

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