The gym and yoga

I recently joined a gym here in Bangalore. When I mentioned to another member that I am a yoga instructor, he was taken aback. His friends, he told me, practiced yoga and he could never convince them to join a gym. “Really!”, I exclaimed. “I always felt the two are complementary.”

In fact in the United States, yoga is part of most, if not all, gyms. Members who take yoga classes usually also work out on cardio, weight train, and take other classes as well. My mom is a perfect example of this. At over 60, she takes 3-4 yoga classes a week, plus works out and goes hiking, training to climb in the Himalayan ranges.

Once I realized the different mentality in India, I started asking others. Most members in this area have mentioned to me that they probably wouldn’t do yoga. They felt it is too religious and spiritual, and they can’t get a workout.

I was surprised. Here in the home country of India, there are so many stereotypes about what yoga is, and what the gym is.

Then I told the management and trainers that I’m a yoga teacher. Many of them were pleasantly happy, and some have expressed interest in attending my classes. They understood that yoga could offer something to their own training, that they could possibly pass off to clients…. perhaps a little breathing awareness, strength training, and perhaps something extra– relaxation.

Actually I see a lot of people doing yoga poses at SNAP FITNESS, whether they know it or not. Dancer’s Poses to stretch the calf muscles, balancing table top to stretch out the back, and versions of boat pose for an ab workout. My trainer at SNAP always reminds me to breath in and out, just as I might do for students in a yoga class. We are careful not to push beyond my limit, despite having some minor health setbacks.

Yoga and working out go together, hand in hand. While the gym focuses on physical health benefits, it is also known for lifting one’s spirits. On the other hand, yoga’s goal is the spiritual upliftment, which is gained through the steps of mental and physical strengthening.

Thus I’d ask all those who’d choose one over the other to remember the benefits of both! After all, two is greater than one…. as long as you are aware of all!

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