Mayur Deshpande
  Personal trainer in Mumbai
Articles The difference between yoga poses/asanas and regular weight training


The difference between yoga poses/asanas and regular weight training

What is the difference between yoga poses/asanas and regular weight training?
Many people consider asanas as exercise where as yoga is life style with its all eight aspects,following diffence are found between asanas and exericise.

1. Speed

Asanas- Speed of the movement has to be slow in asanas. The slow movement always involves the action of deeper muscles and a precise nervous control over them. The maintenance phase (Isometric contraction) of asanas is more important than the movement part of it.
Weight training - Speed of this exercise can be fast,the concentric and eccentric part of the movement is more important than isometric contraction.

2. Target muscle group

Asanas- Almost all asanas make you concentrate on core (abs & lower back),yoga believes in strengthening chain of lower body and upper body. The proprioceptive and visceroreceptive mechanism are given all scope to modify feedback control.
Weight training - In weight training, core stability can be secondary, generally it focus on particular muscle. The skeletal muscles of the extremities are powerful built.

3. Hypertrophy /muscle building

Asanas- Muscle building/hypertrophy is not a aim of asanas. Most of the asanas strengthen isometric contraction of skeletal muscle and only using body as resistance. So asanas do not build stamina and great strength, but aims to improve balance, body awareness and isometric strength of skeletal muscle.
Weight training- Hypertrophy/muscle building is the one of the goals of weight training, this hulk like muscles means protein and water storage of muscle size is increased. Weight training does not improve body balance. It also does not build up your stamina. Unless train for isometrically, regular weight training also fails to build isometric strength.

4. Stretching effect

Asanas- Asanas can be the best way to improve flexibility.problems of ewight training ,like oxygen depth or the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle never arises in yoga asanas.on the contrary ,after The yoga session one feels fresh,relaxed and energetic since improves blood circulation in skeletal parts removes all toxic substance.
Weight training- In weight training, there are heavy and sustained muscular contractions and stretching (agonist and antagonist effect) only upto certain extent the weight training practitioner may become hyper-impulsive and active. When weight training exercise are finished .one gets exhausted ,feels tired and needs a rest.the reason is depleted glucose level ,CO 2 and accumulation of lactic acid and hydrogen ion concentration in skeletal muscles.

5. Required resources

Asanas- For that matter whole yoga as lifestyle can be practiced anywhere ,anypart of the world,by any religion.only requirement for asanas is silient and non polluted place.
Weight training - You have to get equipment which can be expensive ,and it is not practically possible to carry weight training equipment to work place or business tour if you are not brad pit.

6. Involvement of spinal column

Asanas- In asanas spinal column is moved in almost all directions in its possible range of movements. The vertebrae are stretched in all directions and also rotated in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction. This increases the flexibility of spine and reduces the stiffness of a joint .This mechanism develops the sensory inputs that are initiated in the trunk region,especially in the lumber and sacral region. The proper balance in the neuromuscular system and in the sympathetic and parasympathetic activity of the autonomic nervous system is established.
Weight training - In most of the weight training exercise, spinal column is used just to stabilized the body , that's it.

7. Voluntary efforts of muscle

Asanas - The voluntary efforts are withdrawn in the final stage of asanas , the activity of the motor cortex is greatly reduced or even stopped completely.
Weight training - Weight training involves voluntary muscle contraction.

8. Breathing pattern

Asanas - It requires slow and rhythmic breathing which helps you to calm down. Yoga philosophy believes breathing is life.
Weight training - It involves (most of the times) forceful exhalation and inhalation.

Thus we found that the basic purpose , motivation and therefore the technique of asanas and weight training exercise are quite diferernt. Their mechanism and the effects are quite different. Yoga is ancient lifestyle , written and practice 5000 years back by sage patangali in india, yoga is still not completely understood by is not just about flexibility and weight loss mental calmness, there is ancient science and culture behind it .Those sage were too scientifically advance. More clinical and double blinded studies are required for it, it can happen only outside india, Indian politicians are busy in politics and population growth (for vote bank).