Why yoga is better for you than the gym – Part 1

I hear this a lot, “Oooo, I would come to yoga, but I already pay a gym membership”… Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to ditch your gym membership and some gyms even offer yoga classes, but here’s why I think you should give yoga a try at a proper, dedicated studio:

1. Gyms stink of other people!  We’ve all been there.  You’ve been waiting for ages to get on the bike and when you finally get on it, the sweaty person before you has not even bothered to wipe it down afterwards, and oh look, is that moisture on the seat where their ass has been?  And now you have to use your towel to wipe up someone else’s ass sweat before you can sit down.  In my yoga studio, the mats are clean and it smells of joss stick, not sweat.

2. You need to think about the exercise you are doing in order to derive the most benefit from it.  How many of you plug your iPod into the cross trainer and think about everything in the world other than what your body is actually doing? Body moving mechanically like a robot, mind chattering away like a monkey.  How is that benefiting you?

3. Yoga is a work out for the mind as well as the body.  Yes, yoga tones your whole body, but it also brings positivity to your mind and spirit.  Going to the gym is primarily focused on the body.

4. Yoga can get cardio too!  There is a fairly common misconception that we yogis sit around contemplating our toe nails and that you can’t come to a yoga class because you’ll miss the cardio workout that you get in the gym.  Not true.  Some yoga classes, especially vinyasa flow or ashtanga classes, will get you out of breath and will give you that cardiovascular workout that you need.

5. Gyms encourage narcissism.  You will never find a mirror in my yoga studio.  In yoga, you think about what your body is doing, about where your limbs are placed.  In a gym, the mirror does most of that work for you.  And not only can you see what you are doing, but you can also see what everyone else is doing… And then you start comparing yourself to other people.  In yoga, we are encouraged to keep our eyes on our own mats and to draw our attention inwards.  It’s your body, no one else’s!

I’ve decided to split this post in two.  I could go on at length about this, but I’ll save another 5 points for another time.  Your attention is probably waning now and you are thinking about putting the kettle on.  Go do it!  See you on the mat sometime!



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