E is for Exercise

Exercise is good.  It develops and maintains health of body parts, organs, and systems -- individually and cooperatively.  Blood flow, oxygen flow, biochemical flow, electrical flow affect all body components, even the brain.  A healthy body makes the brain able to function better.  This is supported by Western research and approach as well as Eastern holistic beliefs.

Everybody needs exercise -- just not to the same degree or the same types.  

Anatomical elements to exercise, directly and indirectly, include:

1) Body areas: Head & neck Hands & Feet

Torso: front, back, sides Internal Organs

Arms & shoulders Pelvic area

Legs & hips Skin

2) Structural Components: bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, fascia

3) Body systems: Skeletal Lymphatic

Muscular Digestive & Elimination

Nervous Immune

Sensory Endocrine

Circulatory/vascular Reproductive


Occasionally a belief arises that yoga is only about exercise.  Not true, of course, as this website demonstrates.  Yoga can certainly be used for exercise only, especially hatha yoga (from stationary poses to hectic flowing aerobic asanas), but even so it will have a beneficial mental effect.  Which, alas, would make the practitioner more open to spiritual peace and growth.  You just can’t win -- like it or not, yoga reduces anxiety and increases serenity.

There is also the occasional misperception that yoga isn’t about exercise at all.  Some yoga schools and some people who teach/do yoga are in it for the links to meditation, other spiritual practices, moral/ethical behavior practices, and so forth.  In yogic terms, these individuals are engaged in forms of yoga other than hatha yoga (see the page on Patanjali).  Which is fine -- yoga can be about exercise or not, as an individual wishes.

Some people don’t use yoga for anything and have no use for it.  They keep their bodies, minds, and spirits sharp with other tools and approaches.

It’s all Okay.  Yoga is a bountiful repast with something for everybody.  You can sample the offerings, indulge in what you wish, obtain your nourishment from both there and other places, or totally bypass it in favor of gifts available elsewhere.  The Universe has many sources of happiness and harmony.  Choose the ones that work for you.

         For a different page, click below:
            Asanas     Breathing     Chakras     Desikachar      Exercise     Form    Goals
         Hatha Yoga Pradipika     Iyengar     Jois     Krishnamacharya     Learning Yoga    Mohan
            Need A Guru?     One Size Fits All     Patanjali     Quiet Your Mind     Resources     Sivananda
         Teaching Yoga     Unique Asanas     Vikrti      Why     oXen    Yoga Practice Design    Zen