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.