Is Yoga An Excercise? 

Can you call yoga an excercise? This is an interesting excercise article since there are three of four schools of thought on the yoga and excercise debate. Some people, consider yoga to be a religious activity nothing more or less than that. This group of people is quite small and continues to grow smaller as the number of people who hear about yoga grows. Another group of people who form a substantial portion of yoga practitioners in the west and parts of europs feel that, yoga is just a form of excercise. You can leave the religious angle aside and summarize as follows. Yoga is a combination of mental and physical activity. Yoga advocates the belief that 'a sound mind in a sound body' is the best ideology that one can hold in life. The content below tries to better explain the issue, so read the ramble.


Yoga started with a religious angle, that was around 5,000 years ago. The majority of people who practise yoga today are not concerned or involved with the religious side of yoga.  The benefits of yoga can be harnessed in it's physical and mental teachings. It is well known that both these are important to maintain good health.

Yoga includes hundreds of physical postures which can be referred to as excercises. Most of these yoga excercises are designed to work on and strengthen specific parts of the body. For example, an experienced yoga teacher can recommend a set of yoga postures to treat backache. Special yoga courses are developed for pregnant ladies. These courses are meant to provide much needed movement to the pregnant mother. Most of these yoga courses extend right up to post-delivery conditioning.

If you are suffering from  a stiff neck due to long office hours at the computer, you might swallow a pain killer each day to relieve the pain. While this does reduce pain temporarily, it does longterm and often irreversible damage to your kidneys. There are at least a dozen yoga movements to help relieve such neck problems. You can learn, practise and then adapt them to work to your specific case. Some of these can probably be performed right at your work desk while you are still seated.

 If you suffer from chronic headache, backache or neckache it is a good idea to discuss the condition with your family doctor. Having done that, try to find a reputed yoga class to work with.

Any form of excercise is supposed to tone up the body and specifically provide benefits to the lungs and heart. Yoga training has some very effective postures to help various organs. Breathing and meditation can tone up the heart and lungs and also have a positive impact on your blood pressure. We have even heard of yoga postures that develop the digestive system and relieve conditions like constipation.

Most people in western nations will swear that yoga is a great form of excercise. Yoga experts and teachers in these countries have distilled out the physical aspect of yoga practise and tuned it to suit their daily lifestyles.  It might not be necessary for you to go to a yoga school for more than a few months. Once you have learnt the postures and are confident that you can perform them on your own, you can be your own guru and practise yoga at your convenient time and place.

In this article on yoga, we have given emphasis to the physical aspects of this ancient practice. A more general ramble on yoga can be seen here. Comments and questions can be addressed to


Related resources:

Benefits of excercise.