Yoga Vs. Weight Training

In today’s matchup, we have Yoga in the blue corner and Weight Training in the red corner.  These are two of the most common forms of exercise today, but the question commonly arises… which one is better?  There are those that say Yoga is all you need to do in order to have a healthy looking, flexible body, while others say that pumping iron keeps the body young and strong.  However, is one really better than the other?  Well, that’s what were going to look at today and you might be surprised with my answer. 

Before we look at these two contenders, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you that continue to read my blog, watch my videos and support me.  It helps fuel me that much more in helping others life a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  I’m sure you know by now that there isn’t a shortage of information out there around fitness, healthy eating, wellness, sleep, diet and more.  It’s enough to make your head spin.  That is exactly why I LOVE putting information out there because if I can impact one person and reduce their confusion, it’s worth it.  Anyway, thank you again and let’s look at the first contender.   

I’m going to start with Yoga, but I want you to keep something very simple in mind while reading this.  Every Yin has its Yang.  What I mean by that is there is an opposite to everything.  If there’s an up, there’s a down, if there’s light, there’s dark, and if there’s men, there’s women.  Again, please keep this mind while reading on. 

Let me start by saying that Yoga is no joke!  The first time I tried it I was with my wife and we did a 1 hour and 30 minute hot Vinyasa class.  For those of you that may not know, they heat the room to roughly 97-degrees.  Keep in mind, my wife was (and now is again today) a Yoga veteran and was going around 3-4 times per week.  She tired to warn me, but I just thought it would be stretching in a hot room.  Boy was I wrong.  After the class was over I looked like I just got out of a swimming pool and felt like I was high on some fresh picked herb.  I couldn’t believe the workout I had just had.  I was so drained, I went home and took a 3-hour nap.

No, I wasn't doing anything like this in Yoga class.  

No, I wasn't doing anything like this in Yoga class.  

Now, not all Yoga is like this and “traditional” Yoga is meant to have a different effect on the body.  Traditional Yoga is meant to bring Yin energy into the body.  Yin refers to the nurturing, anabolic, female energy that helps the body repair and rebuild itself.  It is calming, soothing and healing.  Yin energy is especially important in today’s society because of how fast-paced and instant our lives are.  I mean, when’s the last time you felt yourself getting frustrated because your iPhone (or Android) opened an app 2 seconds slower than normal??  I know it happened to you within the last 24 hours :) 

As I mentioned earlier Yoga can be challenging, but it does lack the the ability to build additional strength and muscle past a certain point.  As physical beings (by nature) it’s very important to have functional strength in order to complete various daily activities.  Everyday as humans we need to squat, bend, lunge, push, pull, twist, and/or walk, run, sprint.  With that said, let’s take a look at the second contender… weight lifting. 

Do everyone a favor and keep the constipation faces to a minimum.  

Do everyone a favor and keep the constipation faces to a minimum.  

Weight lifting or resistance exercise has been around for thousands of years and has always been popular amongst men.  It is only more recently that it is becoming increasingly more popular with women.  Remember what I told you to keep in mind earlier about Yin and Yang?  Well if Yoga is Yin then…  Yep, you guessed it.  Exercising with weights and resistance would be Yang energy because it has the opposite affect on the body.  Working-out is synonymous with heat, male energy, catabolic, and breaking down. 

So, which one is a more superior practice of exercise?  Honestly, I think the one that you’re NOT currently doing is more superior because it provides you the opposite of your current routine.  Why is important to also do the opposite of what you’re currently doing?  Because it helps balance out your physical energy.  For example, if you (man or woman) are currently only using weights and have been for some time, then it’s time you balance that Yang energy out with a practice such as Yoga.  Also, in case your ego just kicked in and you think it’s not “for you” – remember, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu used to practice ballet because it helps them with their posing on stave. 

Look how the ballet paid off for these two!

Look how the ballet paid off for these two!

I’ve said for a long time that women need to use more weights and men need more yoga.  Sticking to only one mentality can keep you too fixed.  I personally feel people should have flexibility and body-mind connection along with physical and functional strength.  There is a time and place for both and neither should be snuffed at.  Now all you have to do is go try it :)

 

Yours in health,

Jim

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