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Ardent gym goers and yoga practitioners are one of such rare groups of people who are similar, yet different in a variety of ways. First, they are easily recognizable for their body fitness and confidence, and they are always more than willing to wax lyrical about how amazing and life-changing the form of exercise they do is. Because of the passion and enthusiasm reflected on both sides, anyone willing to elevate the quality of their lives by entering into the world of fitness and exercise is likely to quickly find themselves torn between buying a yoga mat and getting a gym card.

There are thousands of articles reiterating that the decision whether to start yoga or get a gym card must be made in consideration of one’s fitness goals, but it actually goes beyond that. This decision has to be made in consideration of personality traits, emotional state, finances, life goals, and overall outlook on life. Though they are similar forms of exercise, the guiding principles, psychologies, and practices of yoga and the ideologies behind gym exercises are remarkably different. This blog will discuss crucial differences between yoga and gym exercises, providing you with accurate and insightful information on how to make the right decision.

  • The most significant difference between yoga and traditional gym exercise lies in the objectives of both forms of exercise. Gym exercises are designed to achieve muscle growth and strength, cardiovascular activity, and physical endurance. Squats, farmers’ walks, weight lifting, or any form of gym exercise target muscle growth and body strengthening.

    Yoga is a more comprehensive system that targets improving, not just the the well-being of the body, but of the mind, and spirit as well. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit language and can be translated into “yoke” or “union,” and so the psychology of yoga encourages the bond between the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga, therefore, is not only concerned with physical health and muscle growth but also mental and emotional growth.

    With these fundamentally different objectives in mind, it is wise to consider your priorities and what you would like to gain from your fitness journey. Some people are more concerned about improving their physical appearance: for them, a gym is suitable. However, for those who are also equally excited about engaging in mental growth, a yoga class will suit them perfectly.

  • The difference between yoga and gym exercise is most evident when people discuss the impact that these forms of exercise have had on their lives. Yoga practitioners are keen to share how yoga has had a profound impact on their emotional state or how they have become better people. A yoga practitioner shared a passionate story on Quora about how practicing yoga helped her learn to focus on her own strengths and abilities rather than compare herself with other people, and this transformed her life. “Never allow ego drive your decisions,” this person wrote in bold.

    Yoga practitioners share equally touching stories of personal growth about how lessons in yoga have helped them find success and fulfillment in their careers and relationships and enhanced their understanding of the world and their place in it.


    When gymgoers share their experiences, the focus is more often on the physical changes occurring in their bodies, emphasizing how many pounds they have lost and how much more agile, strong, and capable they have become. This is not to say that going to the gym is a vain and shallow pursuit: gym goers also share stories about the sense of pride and the boost in self-confidence they derive from all the physical changes going on in their bodies. Several gymgoers report that consistently going to the gym helps them become more disciplined, consistent, and mentally resilient.

    The emphasis here is that the results you get from going to the gym will be different from those you get from joining a yoga class, hence you must consider what your priorities are before choosing which to join. Yoga is not just a form of physical exercise, but also an immersive and even spiritual process that opens up the mind and emotions as well as well. For those who, in addition to physical growth think it would be a good idea to seek emotional and spiritual growth as well, the yoga class would be of benefit. However, if you just want to get confidence and a better tone, then the gym is where to go.

  • Another major difference between yoga and regular gym exercise lies in the atmosphere in which the exercise is done and in the intensity of the routines. In yoga, the postures (known as asanas) are smooth and synchronized with the breath, carried out in slow-paced movements. Yoga encourages the bonding of mind, spirit, and soul through the pillars of exercise, breathing, and meditation.


    Yoga experts advise practitioners to begin with breathing practices, asanas which are beneficial to the parasympathetic nervous system (this is the network of nerves that help the body relax after stressful or dangerous situations). The next step usually involves more physically challenging asanas, such as lunges which target the muscles. At the concluding stage, yoga practitioners are guided into lying down asanas which bring back balance to the parasympathetic nervous system

    Gym workouts, by contrast, are notorious for being faster, with explosive movements that challenge the body’s physical limits. At the gym, it is common for people to do their workouts with headphones on or with loud music blasting in speakers.  These exercises are carried out in an atmosphere that is calming, placid, and introspective, and the objective is to target the nerves and muscles.

  • Though it is entirely possible to practice yoga independently, it is strongly advised for beginners to start their yoga journeys under the guidance of an expert. In most cases, be it online or offline, you are most likely to have to join a yoga class. A yoga class simply means a group with participants practicing yoga together. Yoga classes often foster a sense of community, and the shared experience can be motivating for any individual just starting a yoga practice.

    Gym environments are often more solitary. Given that each individual is at different points in their workout journey and on different programs, people tend to work out independently.

    For people with extroverted personalities who tend to prefer the company of others, a yoga class would be an ideal start. However, more reserved and introverted people would probably dread yoga classes and enjoy the solitude of the gym.

  • As yoga experts repeatedly say, yoga is a lifestyle practice. This means that the philosophies and practices of yoga, such as meditation, breathing, and mindfulness, can be integrated into daily routines and life scenarios. Yoga enthusiasts have reported doing their asanas at the office, in waiting rooms or anywhere they could find a good spot. Indeed some yoga poses are rather discreet and can be completed anywhere without drawing unwanted attention.

    Gym exercise, however, is more compartmentalized, implying that it is best performed in a specific environment and may not easily transfer to other aspects of everyday life. Trying any of the fast-paced gym exercises would almost immediately result in the unwanted consequence of sweating, which, if not anything else, would draw a negative reaction from most passersby.


    While both yoga and gym exercise share the common trait of being impressive and commendable forms of exercise, they are markedly different in the results they produce, the structure in which the exercises are performed, and the impact they could potentially have on one’s lifestyle. Hence, the above factors must be meticulously pondered upon before a decision is finally made. By the end of this article, you should already get a sense of which of these two forms of exercise would be most suitable for your personality and your goals. In that case, the next step is to find the proper equipment to start your journey.

    Thankfully, there is Zelus Fitness. Zelus Fitness is an affordable, high-quality brand that has dedicated itself to understanding and supporting fitness enthusiasts on their journey. Whether you choose to engage in Yoga or gym exercises, Zelus has suitable, high-quality equipment for you. 

    For yoga, Zelus usually encourages customers to do yoga, starting by choosing from its collection of balance balls, which can serve a variety of purposes in yoga practice. 

    For gym exercises, Zelus has always maintained that going to the gym is not a must, but with the right equipment, anyone can make a gym at home. One such piece of equipment is the dynamic and reliable Zelus weighted vest and cable machine. All these various pieces of workout equipment are available on the Zelus website at an affordable price. Start your workout journey with Zelus and enjoy the best deals.