Both places are a great place to dissolve stress, sweat, and think through issues. I make a sincere effort to hit the weights at least once a week, but I find it much easier to grab my mat and head to the yoga studio rather than the traditional gym. The following are the reasons why I am much happier suffering through a drawn out hip opener then pushing and pulling iron plates for 60+ minutes.
- First off when you show up at yoga class you know your equipment is not going to be broken or out getting new padding. It only happens occasionally at the gym, but it throws a whole workout routine off when you show up and 2 or 3 pieces of equipment are out being reconditioned. Basically in yoga your body is the only equipment you need. The body being the only piece of equipment encourages an individual to really get in touch with their entire body.
- Speaking of equipment at the gym how often is the equipment actually cleaned. I am not interested in carrying around a spray bottle and wiping down each piece of equipment I use. Very rarely do you see people wipe down equipment after they are done and to be honest if I have not built up a sweat I probably will not wipe down the equipment when done. It is not too appealing to know that you are sitting were 50 other people sat without anyone taking the time to spray some disinfectant. In yoga basically you bring your mat and as far as I am concerned how frequently you clean the mat is your call.
- Also at the gym people tend to take long breaks and play with their phone and it just so happens to be on the piece of equipment you were about to use. In yoga, again, you bring your own equipment and except for possibly an instructor nobody is going to interfere with you groove. Also bringing your electronics into the studio is kind of frowned upon.
- Lifting weights has almost become a routine, the only really challenge being adding more weight. Yoga on the other hand is, depending on your style, a flowing dance between poses. An individual’s mood often shows up on the mat; think about if your mind is preoccupied how much more difficult do those balance poses become. Different instructors also shake things up in the studio. Poses also can always be taken a centimeter deeper or a practitioner can try and twist a little further.
- Yoga in a studio is a communal exercise. Everyone there is focused on the same goal and making the same moves. I have heard that the word yoga stems from a word that meant to bring together. When is the last time the whole gym came together in a beautiful om. Weightlifting, for me, is a primarily a personal experience with the occasional friendly conversation mixed in.
- Yoga is also much more than just exercise. Yoga has a whole culture and philosophy that works to make the individual and the world a better place.
In conclusion, Yoga seems to create a deeper connection between an individual and their body. Mountain Pose, for me, creates more awareness of the entire body than any weightlifting move. Also Yoga creates a communal atmosphere that I have yet to find lifting weights. Yoga asks a practitioner to be dependent on self, while providing a positive and supportive communal atmosphere.