It was subsequently adopted by practitioners of Hinduism, traditional Buddhism and Chinese Zen Buddhism as a method of achieving enlightenment.
Yoga refers to the act of creating a balance between the physical and mental states to ensure the soul can become one. Practicing yoga is therefore a process of physical and mental training, involving high levels of concentration to ensure inhalation and exhalation are carefully controlled to coordinate with movements. Hence, effective yoga practice should involve a combination of the following 3 key principles: slow movements, coordinating breathing with those movements, and keeping a calm mind throughout.
|Yoga||Other forms of exercise|
|1. Focused on calmness and stillness of body
2. The body is in a passive state, with muscles gradually relaxing
3. Focused on stretching muscles and full musculoskeletal coordination
4. Relies on internal feelings to lead movement
5. Focused on improving organ function, as well as leg and arm strength
6. The person’s capabilities inform their practice, meaning each session is highly individualized
7. Stimulates the part of the autonomic nervous system responsible for relaxation
8. Requires minimal force so the person is not required to over-exert themselves to achieve their goals
9. Reduces stress on all 5 senses
10. An activity that allows the person’s feelings to inform practice, relying on their mental capabilities over anything else
|1. Requires frequent movements and physical exertion
2. The body is an active state, with muscles constantly required to flex and relax
3. Entirely reliant upon muscle flexion to improve muscle strength
4. Relies on external feelings to lead movement
5. Focused on strengthening the main muscle groups, especially those in the arms and legs
6. Reliant on the person’s level of expertise or skill set to ensure fun or achievement
7. Stimulates the part of the autonomic nervous system responsible for alertness
8. Some forms of exercise require maximum exertion or steadily increasing exertion to achieve the goals of that activity
9. Increases the stress placed upon all 5 senses
10. Activities that rely on physical exertion, with muscular strength of paramount importance
Do not focus on unrealistic goals including gaining a slimmer body, striking esthetically pleasing poses, and balancing effortlessly like your instructor. Instead, focus on each step of your progression without placing too much pressure on yourself.