Yoga VS The Gym

anxiety busting daily practices yoga and the gym yoga for anxiety Feb 25, 2024

If you came to read this article thinking I was going to bash gyms, think again. 😉 

I've been working out at gyms since I was a Freshman in college.

I started at the college gym, mainly because I gained the 'Freshman 8' as I didn't play sports in college so I wasn't burning the calories. Plus I was eating foods I didn't normally eat....midnight dorm delivery of chocolate chip mint ice cream anyone? 😂 

Then I scoped the area for 'real' gyms as I found I loved working out with weights, and I wanted a join a place that had more equipment (rather than 1 single cable machine system in a small room).

That was the start of my love of gyms and lifting weights.

But it's very interesting to me, thinking back, that when I was in the deep dark mud of anxiety, I needed more than the gym.

And that's when I found Yoga.

Now having taught yoga for many years and being a perpetual student of yoga, I have more of an understanding as to why I needed more than the gym to help me through my anxiety journey.

 Yoga VS The Gym

No matter what form of exercise we do, many times it's a challenge to motivate ourselves to go workout; the mind comes in and tries to talk us out of it or we overthink it. 

When we do workout, be it the gym, or yoga or fitness studio or a walk or run, we usually feel better. All these various exercises are great for working out the physical body.

But the thing that makes Yoga so different from any other form of exercise is that it gets deeper into the subtle energy layers of the body.

Yoga helps tap into the Chi, or Prana or Life Force, and when you tap deeper into this energy, it makes your whole BEing feel even better.

The ancient yogic systems (Yoga & Ayurveda) understand not only how to help the physical body, but they understand how to help the interior body.

Yoga helps the entire human being; the human part and the BEing part.

So when practicing yoga, not only are you working your physical body out - toning muscles, increasing circulation, gaining flexibility and mobility - you're also strengthening your interior environment by becoming more aware of what it means to be present, here and now, and how your mind is working within yourself.

How your mind is working within yourself - this is so key!

Are you using your mind as a tool to help you in life when you need it? Or is the mind using you as it's own servant?

When you begin to work with the subtle energy of the body, you begin to realize that you are able to tap into so many other dimensions of yourself; your intuition, your core values, your reason for BEing and so much more. And you discover you actually have a choice in how to BE in any event, situation or challenge.

You can choose to react or respond - that's where the subtle energy work can create a huge shift.

When you can tap into these other portals of your being, you will have more of a chance to move through challenges with more ease. And there will be many challenges as that's part of being in this human body, on this planet earth.

In a world where our nervous system is already highly taxed, we need more than just exercise that trains the body. We need a system that not only trains the physical body, but also trains the mental body and subtle energetic layers of the body. 

And that is where Yoga comes in and why it differs. 

If you've been around me for a minute, you know I am an advocate of strength training and other modalities. And you also know that I would choose Yoga over any movement if I was only able to choose one.

But the truth for me is that I wouldn't even put Yoga in any category with any other form of exercise. It's in a category all on it's own. It's not even a category, it's Life; living and breathing and Being. I can't even compare Yoga to anything else. 

For me, it's not an either/or situation; either yoga or the gym. It's Yoga plus (insert modality here)

Yoga helps one to feel more open, connected, grounded and steeped in Love. And Love as in the underlying connection to all - to Oneness. If everyone felt this and knew this deep within, there would be no war. 

I pray that this may be the case one day. Until then, I'll keep practicing and sharing my love for this ancient science called Yoga.

So although the gym kept my body fit for years, (my outer environment), even during the first couple years when I developed chronic anxiety, it didn't do much for my internal atmosphere.

Yoga is what helped me climb out of the deep muddy waters of anxiety.

To conclude, I'll say this: When one sets an alarm at night to go to the gym in the morning, they are waking up to workout.

But when one sets an alarm to get up for Yoga, they are working out to Wake Up.







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