There is immense confusion surrounding whether or not yoga is an aerobic or anaerobic exercise. Yoga offers tremendous health benefits, including stress reduction, muscular balance and flexibility, and an enhanced sense of well-being. But is yoga aerobic or anaerobic?
Yoga is an anaerobic exercise. However, yoga is not an aerobic exercise in the same category as biking, walking, running, or strength training. Even though more physically demanding types of yoga, like power yoga, will raise your heart rate and make you sweat while working the heart enough to be an aerobic workout.
There are different types of yoga and different ways to do them. However, we will explore the science behind aerobic and anaerobic exercises and see how they compare to yoga.
Stay tuned for the final verdict on whether or not yoga is aerobic or anaerobic!
You might also enjoy reading: Tai Chi Vs. Yoga: Which One Should You Choose?
Table of Contents
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a physical and mental discipline system in India designed to promote health and well-being. The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit, meaning “to yoke” or “to unite.” Yoga is often described as a union of the body, mind, and spirit.
History of Yoga
Yoga has been practiced for centuries, with its origins dating back to around 3000 BCE. Yoga was first mentioned in Rigveda, one of the oldest sacred texts. The Rigveda describes yoga as controlling the senses and the mind.
The practice of yoga began to spread beyond India during the Gupta period. Yoga masters traveled to China, Japan, Tibet, and Southeast Asia to teach the practice.
Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has a lot of benefits. It helps improve your mental and physical well-being, makes you more flexible, can help with weight loss, and much more.
Here is a list of the most popular benefits of yoga:
1- Yoga Improves Your Mental Well-Being
Yoga has been shown to help improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Several studies found that people who did yoga had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Yoga helps improves your sleep quality.
Several recent studies indicate that yoga may help reinforce social attachments, relieve stress, and ease anxiety, depression, and insomnia (Source: American Psychological Association)
A review of 15 studies looked at the effect of various relaxation techniques on depression and anxiety in older adults. In addition to yoga, interventions incorporated progressive muscle relaxation, massage therapy, stress management, and listening to music (Source: Harvard)
While all the techniques provided some advantages, yoga and music were the most effective for depression and anxiety. And yoga appeared to offer the longest-lasting effect.
2- Yoga Helps With Weight Loss
It can be a wonderful way to help with weight loss. One research found that people who continuously did yoga for at least 30 minutes a day for three months lost comparatively more weight and body fat than those who didn’t do yoga any time of the day.
Evidence even indicated that people who practiced yoga once a week for a minimum of 30 minutes over at least four years gained less weight during middle adulthood. At the same time, individuals who were overweight were able to lose weight (Source: Live Science)
3- Yoga Makes You More Flexible
Yoga can help improve your flexibility. It is popular that people who do yoga have a better range of motion in their joints and are less likely to injure themselves. It can also help improve your balance.
A 2021 study concluded that a weekly setting of 10 beginner-level traditional hatha yoga classes (about 1.5 h each) could result in significant positive changes in flexibility, balance, and core muscle strength in healthy adult women.
4- Yoga Can Help Improve Your Heart Health
Yoga has been shown to help improve your heart health. One research found that people who did yoga had lower blood pressure and a better quality of life. It may be due to the fact that yoga can help reduce stress and improve your heart health.
Practicing yoga may help lower heart rate, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, making it a helpful lifestyle intervention (Source: The Johns Hopkins University)
5- Yoga Can Help Reduce Chronic Pain
Yoga has been shown to help reduce chronic pain, such as back pain, neck pain, and arthritis. It also helps provide relief from headaches and migraines. This is likely because yoga can help improve your flexibility and reduce stress.
A meta-analysis of 17 studies researching more than 1,600 participants concluded that yoga could improve mood and psychosocial well-being (Source: Harvard)
6- Yoga Can Help Improve Your Breathing
Yoga can help improve your breathing. One research found that people who did yoga had better lung function and could breathe better. This may be due to the fact that yoga can help improve your lung function and reduce stress.
Breathing techniques, referred to as pranayama, are one of the essential parts of yoga practice. According to Mather Hospital, yoga breathing techniques can help you manage your breathing and teach you how to use your lungs more thoroughly.
Is Yoga Aerobic Or Anaerobic?
Yoga is an anaerobic exercise that does not require oxygen to be used by the muscles. This exercise is often used for short bursts of activity, such as running or lifting weights. Yoga can also be a form of aerobic exercise, which means that it uses oxygen to help the body function more efficiently.
Even though yoga is not an aerobic exercise, some studies indicated that it could also be considered aerobic, at least if it’s practiced rapidly.
Yoga is often used for longer periods, such as walking or cycling. It is important to note that both types of exercise benefit overall health and fitness.
Aerobic Vs. Anaerobic Exercises: What Are the Differences?
Aerobic and anaerobic exercises are two various types of physical activity. They are characterized by their different effects on the body and how energy is used during exercise.
- Aerobic is any activity that uses large muscles and can be maintained for long periods. This exercise requires oxygen to be delivered to the muscles and is the most efficient way to burn calories. Some popular examples of aerobic exercise are walking, running, cycling, and swimming.
- Anaerobic exercise is any activity that is of high intensity and cannot be maintained for long periods. This exercise does not require oxygen to be delivered to the muscles and is less efficient in calorie burning. A few examples of anaerobic exercise are weightlifting, sprinting, and interval training.
The main difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise is the way energy is used during exercise. Aerobic exercise uses oxygen to help produce energy, while anaerobic exercise does not. As a result, aerobic exercise is more efficient in calorie burning and can be maintained for longer periods.
However, anaerobic exercise is more effective in terms of building muscle mass and improving power and speed.
See also: 13 Yoga Poses That Help With Gas.
Which One Is Better For You?
The type of exercise activity you choose to do will be according to your goals. For example, aerobic exercise is a good way to lose weight or improve cardiovascular health. On the other hand, anaerobic exercise is a better choice if you are looking to build muscle mass or improve your power and speed. Ultimately, the best exercise for you is the one you enjoy and will stick with in the long term.
It would be best if you did a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. It would help you gain stamina and work on yourself more and better. Make sure to follow some great tips to help you exercise.
- Aerobic exercises are activities that cause you to breathe harder and raise your heart rate. They include walking, running, biking, and swimming.
- Anaerobic exercises are activities that cause you to use quick bursts of energy. They include sprinting, weightlifting, and push-ups.
It would be best if you did a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises to get the most benefit from your workout. Aerobic exercises will help you burn fat and improve your cardiovascular health. Anaerobic exercises will help you build muscle and improve your strength.
Both types of exercise are important for a healthy lifestyle. However, it would be best to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program. They can help you determine what is best for you based on your current health and fitness level.
See also: How Long To Hold Yoga Poses (This Long!)
Is Yoga Worth It?
Yoga is totally worth it. Many studies revealed the incredible benefits of yoga practice. It is important to try different types of yoga and figure out what works best for you. It is probably worth it if you enjoy yoga and it makes you feel good.
If you don’t enjoy yoga or don’t see any benefits, you may want to try another type of exercise. Ultimately, the best way to know if something is worth it is to try it yourself and see how you feel.
Whether or not yoga is worth it is up to you. Yoga has many benefits, but it may not be the best form of exercise for everyone.
Talk to your doctor and try different types of exercise to figure out what works best for you.