The Difference between Asana and Exercise

Difference between Yoga and Exercise - The Beach House Goa
The difference between Asana and Exercise

 Yoga and exercise are not the same. Today, most fitness programs teach exercises, Yoga asanas, pranayama, Tai Chi, aerobics, martial arts, etc or a combination of these. Though all of these are aimed at maintaining and improving health, few understand the difference between the Yoga asanas and other forms of fitness methods.

Exercises are aimed at building your muscles and physical strength and endurance.  Exercises involve repetition of certain movements aimed at building a certain group of muscles, thereby increasing the muscle weight and improving strength of those body parts. It increases the blood supply to those parts. Most exercises increase your breath rate and heart rate. You consume more oxygen during exercises than when you are doing your daily routine activities.

A lot of us are not sure about the difference between an Asana and Physical exercise and often wonder whether one is better than the other. If you too are not sure, read on to find out. Here are some of the differences in a general sense:

  •  In the practice of Asana, the oxygen consumption is reduced whereas in physical exercise the oxygen consumption is increased.

  • In Asana the respiration rate falls, whereas in exercise it increases. This is because physical exercises are generally done very quickly and with a lot of heavy breathing, therefore the respiratory system is forced to work much harder.

  • In Yoga the body temperature drops whereas while exercising it tends to rise.

  • In asana the body’s metabolic rate drops whereas with exercise it is seen to increase.

  • In asana, the muscles receive minimum nutrition/ oxygen and the organs receive more, whereas in Physical exercise, it is the muscles that receive the most nutrition/ oxygen.

  • In asana, the blood pressure and heart rate decreases, whereas in exercise they increase as your heart is working harder.

  • It is also seen that a regular yoga practitioner’s body requires lesser food than a person who indulges in more physical exercise.

  • Asana help to harmonize the endocrinal secretions, thereby balancing the emotions and giving a positive attitude to life.

  • Asana stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, while exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.

  • Physical exercise tends to over work the joints and can often lead to rheumatism and stiffness later on in life. The opposite in the case with asana.

  • Asana encourage flexibility and capacity to adapt to the environment and to change, if done correctly. They also help develop stamina.

  • Asana develops inner awareness, but the same is not necessarily the case with exercise.The Beach House Goa offers Yoga retreats conducted by Yoga professionals. Yoga Retreats at The Beach House Goa are aimed at increasing energy, vitality and stamina, improving sleep patterns and making you feel refreshed.  Providing a greater sense of peace and inner calm. Heightened mental clarity, focus, concentration and memory. stability of moods and emotional balance. Increased motivation and Enthusiasm, Improvement in Physical and Mental balance. For more details about Yoga Retreats please visit