Yogasana is distinct from physical exercise

Yogasana is distinct from physical exercise. In physical exercise, faster the movements better the benefit. In asana, slower the movements better the benefit. Asanas are always performed with slow movement of body parts; and the main benefit of asanas comes in maintaining the posture for a considerable period of time. Invariably after every asana is performed, rest is given to body. The coordination of breath with the body movement has to be perfect in yogasana to be more beneficial. In physical exercise, people might work out while listening to music or even watching television as practiced in some gyms. Yogasanas have to be done in a quiet and pleasant surrounding where one can link body and mind properly by maintaining body and mind awareness.

While both physical exercise and yogasana improve our musculo-skeletal and cardio-respiratory systems, yogasanas also improve functioning of neuro-muscular and endocrinal systems.There is holistic improvement in health of both body and mind in practice of yogasana. Yogasanas can bring spectacular results in lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

I have been a yoga practitioner since July 28, 2009 practicing yogasanas for more than 2 years initially learning yoga practices in a yoga centre followed by daily practice of swadhyaya of yoga at home. I have been tremendously benefited in controlling my old age diabetes and hypertension by practicing yogasanas.

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S., M.D.
Yoga Practitioner


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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16 Responses to Yogasana is distinct from physical exercise

  1. Some of the Yogasanas
    I am daily practicing are:
    1. Tadasana
    2. Dandasana
    3. Makarasana
    4. Sukhasana
    5. Savasana

  2. Satya says:

    Yoga is for all.

    The best yoga happens when you start integrating it in your daily life.Thinking Yoga asanas are just physical gains,is like abusing the whole system;for asanas rebalance the whole body.They bring in a sense of expansion on many levels.

    In today’s world, yoga is the right tool as it raises consciousness, be any state of mind, dull or hyperactive; for generally, these are the two reasons most of the people begin to practice yoga, but then they discover how uplifted they feel with their practice.This expansion leads to a sense of well being, wholeness.

    Guru Pattabi Jois said, “Old man, stiff man, weak man, sick man;they all can take practice but only a lazy man can’t take practice”.

    So just start your journey from wherever you are, you need not be flexible to start off with, who knows where this may take you!

  3. Yogasnas are a complex form of exercises involving mind, muscles, postural rejuvenation and ligaments.Benefits are multiple.

    A yogasana can also be split in to different asanas to master it or do it partially according to age level of training.

    Practice of yoga is indirect daily self psychotherapy to maintain a healthy and nice lifestyle.

    Well said and well practiced yoga.

  4. Prakash Padhan says:

    Respected Sir,
    I knew more about multiple benefits of Yogasanas including medical point of view.

    I would like to share ISKCON’s message of YOGA as below:
    Now-a-days it has become very popular to practice yoga for improving one’s health.Of course good health is required in all spheres of activity.Whether one wants spiritual success, material success, or both; good health is very important.But as soon as we say the word “yoga”; we should know what it means. It does not mean sitting postures or breathing exercises, although certain yoga systems such as hatha yoga include these.Yoga means to become self-realized by linking with God. In fact the English word “yoke” is an etymological derivation of the Sanskrit word “yoga”.So the real meaning of yoga is a process for linking or yoking oneself with God.

    Regarding the different yoga systems Srila Prabhupada writes:
    “The yogic practices in general and hatha yoga in particular are not ends in themselves; they are means to the end of attaining steadiness.First one must be able to sit properly;and then the mind and attention will become steady enough for practicing yoga. Gradually, one must control the circulation of vital air;and with such control he will be able to withdraw the senses from sense objects.The most important aspect of sense control is controlling sex life;that is called brahmacharya (celibacy). By practicing the different sitting postures and controlling the vital air, one can control and restrain the senses from unrestricted sense enjoyment.”

    The genuine yogic systems require completely renouncing home, family, and career. One has to enter permanently in complete poverty into the wilderness and live on berries and roots without any material comforts and without ever returning to the material society. In this way the yogi spends all of his time in yogic meditation without any fear of wild tigers or other material elements. It’s not that one can maintain his material connections and spend a few minutes daily doing yoga postures and deep breathing and become self-realized. Success in the physical yoga systems require many lifetimes of severe austerity in the wilderness.

    The various yoga systems are meant for making the mind completely calm so that one can fully absorb his mind in God and gradually awaken love for Him. In other words, the successful yogi is fully absorbed in love of God 24 hours a day. The physical yoga systems give facility for those who still identify with their bodies to gradually come to the transcendental platform. But for those who are already convinced of their eternal transcendental identities,the bhakti yoga system of immediately absorbing oneself in love of God is the best. Bhakti yoga is so powerful that one can remain in whatever position he is presently in and simply offer whatever he is doing to Krishna. Arjuna took the path of bhakti yoga and was able to attain yogic perfection even while he remained a warrior and was fighting a battle. So why take the stairs when you can take the elevator? Seriously dovetail your current activities with Krishna and easily attain the supreme perfection of yoga.

  5. Vinod Varma says:

    Inter-relation of mind and body is not established thoroughly yet in modern science, to the best of my understanding. Interesting to know that such practices involving mind-body combination, beyond mere physical exercises; were set in our heritage. Your experience in this is quite encouraging.

  6. Mark Runswick says:

    Just to let you know that you have put up one of the most astonishing content. I’ve read a lot and it’s really a lot. Yet at this moment I’m so impressed by all these. Love it. I’ll be telling my friends about it.

    Continue the good work please.

  7. V.Nageswar Rao says:

    Dear Sir,
    Thank You for sharing very learningful article this time.

    The first unknown learning for me for this article is difference between Yogasana and Physical Exercise.I thought that both together can be done, but these are two different elements; one is physical exercise as faster as the movements more benefits and in case of Asana as slower as the movments the better benefits.

    Secondly both need to be practiced in suitable environment and physical exercise works more on Body and Health;and Yogasana helps more on Mind and Psychology.

    Thirdly there is improvement in the health of both body and mind in practice of yogasana, which has effective results in lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

    These three learnings, definitely I will share with my Friends and Colleagues.

    Thanking You for a Nice and Healthy article.

    Jai Sadguru Sainath

    With Regards,


  8. Madhusudan Mahunta says:

    Respected Sir,

    Really Sir,It is very interesting that you are a genius and you have a super brain that perhaps the wishes of Sadguru Sainath.

    Sir,Yoga and physical exercise are essential for human society,but people of this era are too much busy for business which destroy their mind from peace and love.I think, Yoga is highly required for those people as well as for us for smoothly enjoying the rest of our life.

    Madhusudan Mahunta

  9. drppanda says:

    Yoga has its presence very much even in foreign countries.

  10. Susanta Kumar Panigrahi says:

    Dear Sir,
    Many thanks for your recent article on yoga.

    In fact it is essential for the people of all ages and by the practice of yoga,one can lead emotional and physical improvements.Thus modern society has realized its necessity.

    Your effort is definitely inspirable .

  11. Chandra Kumar Panda says:


    The article ‘Yogasana is distinct from physical exercise’ is a good article which clearly distinguishes the irony between Yogasana & physical exercise and how it is beneficial to humanity.

    Yours Sincerely
    Chandra Kumar Panda.

  12. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    You have described the topic on ‘Yogasana is distinct from physical exercise’ so vividly that one wouldn’t go beyond; still I put a nutshell to make it clearer for general well-beings.

    As a whole Exercise is a part of physiotherapy, deals with body and mind complex; in return develops stamina and strength; and astute mind which creates scientific research of all aspects in ephemeral world. It is confined to mainly musculo-skeletal excretory system. Hence if one invigorates and indulges more, no doubt falls in clutches of diseases and complications even leading to death. So in moderate action one remains fit, energetic and enjoys in life; but it has its limitation from childhood to adulthood. But in contrast Yoga is complete different and was monopoly and patent for Indian birth, however now globally popularised due to its immense effects on body, mind and soul to lead a blissful life. Yogasanas also improve functioning of neuro-muscular and cardio-respiratory systems. Now imagine how therapeutic yoga is much higher than simple exercise in respect to as much as one adapts, so much he imbibes the cosmic energy. If he secludes; delves into ecstasy and salvation (samadhi). Moreover it is applicable to all ages to make environmental equilibrium.

    So Sir, I don’t go further and end with an inferential ‘Dictum’ as follows:
    Exercise is day to day life activities for scientific study whereas Yogasana is cycle to cycle life activities for spiritual study, but in modern era both are essential to ascend the top.

    Thanking you,
    Your divine brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik
    Sr.Surgery Consultant
    Bargarh Odisha

  13. You may read my article & responses on Savasana or Corpse Pose in Yoga Practice and Sukhasana or Simple Cross Legged Sitting Posture in Yoga Practice widely advocated for Yoga Practice of Elderly Persons.

  14. Dhandapani Muthuswamy says:

    Superji. Initially I was doing yoga as exercise only. After some time only I came to understand the difference. At that time if somebody gave feed back like u it would have been much helpful. Super work and super article.

  15. V Chandra Sekhar says:

    I have read your article Yogasana is distinct from physical exercise with great interest in your blog website of Yoga & Spirituality. You have delineated exactly the various differences between the two forms viz. yogasanas & physical exercises. It is fantastic. Thanks a lot.

    Best Wishes

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