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Is yoga enough to keep in shape?

zhenka112302010-07-05 08:14:40 +0000 #1
I am a guy and in a pretty good shape as it is, but i achived it by pushups/running/squads/pullups and abs exercises. I plan to switch to strictly yoga/tai chi workout since i became Buddhist and i realized only these types of exercise make me feel good and clear my mind but is it going to be enough to keep me looking good? I mean i noticed that it doest target much upper body at all.

Should i do both? It will be hard to combine everything i thinck. Too many hours a week. Any guys out there keep in shape with yoga?

THX! : )
Arjun2010-07-05 08:26:45 +0000 #2
As you have mentioned that you have become a buddhist you may find yoga interfering with your faith. One should never forget the fact that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism, but originated from it .Yoga cannot be separated from Hinduism because it runs counter to the fundamental principles upon which yoga itself is premised, the yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances). These ethical tenets and religious practices are the first two limbs of the eight-limbed ashtanga yoga system which also includes asana (postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (contemplation/Self Realization). Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga.

Buddhist yoga like Christian yoga or any other form of yoga developed by westerners is not yoga in its true form since they are not practised with its true philosophy.

Now if you plan to switch to yoga just for its physical benefits, than you should look for other options like Tai Chi, pilates etc. but as a buddhist you have no right to practise yoga.
zhenka112302010-07-05 08:29:34 +0000 #3
I belive that there is one true religion, every religion has its philosophies taht we all can benefit from. I happen to agree with Buddhism but i like a lot of aspects of other religions. In the end there is only one god or energy. Isnt Buddhism tolerant to other religions. I belive religions are just different interpretations of what god is but there is only one god and without realizing it we are all praying to that one god. We jus gave god different names and interpritations.
Captainj20012010-07-05 09:01:00 +0000 #4
Arjun I believe you are incorrect. Any spiritual aspirant wether Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, or whatever can benefit from the practices of yoga. The practice of yoga was created as a means to purify the body so that the aspirant could go deeper into meditation and percieve the truth beyond maya(illusion). Don't forget that Buddha spent many years in India before attaining illumination beneath the Boddhi tree. From what I have read I understand that Buddha simply took yama and niyama and integrated them into buddhism while leaving out the more esoteric yoga practices as he felt they often misled the practitioner into believing that they were the end all, versus being a means to an end in samadhi.

As far as the original question goes, you definately can get a full "work out" from yogasanas. There are several asanas that specifically target upper body muscle groups, I suggest that you take a look through Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, as it is a fairly comprehensive book which includes many ways that you may vary your yogasana practice from day to day to achieve your goals.

Many blessings,

dianneg2010-07-05 09:29:48 +0000 #5
I am not a guy but I find a full workout in yoga. I would suggest to find a teacher that resonates with you and knows and has EXPERIENCED Yoga to guide you.

I would question where it says that you have to be a Hindu to practice yoga.

in peace,

Trinity2010-07-05 09:00:16 +0000 #6
Awesome to hear that yoga and tai chi have helped you to both feel good and clear your mind. I made a similar switch a few years ago and here are my results – I’ve lost a bit of my bulk yet I’ve stayed quite toned – leaner muscle, stronger in some ways – I feel like I’m in better shape than ever. A couple key points to consider… if you still want a toned, physically fit body you’ll probably have to select more physically demanding versions of yoga and tai chi – such as Ashtanga/Vinyasa Flow or Anusara for Yoga and Chen style for tai chi. An additional point about pull-ups… neither yoga nor tai chi will effectively target this area so you might want to keep the pull-ups on the schedule. Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed yet… the clarity of mind… the centeredness/balance and presence found by practising yoga and tai chi tends to be much more attractive to others than the size of one’s muscles. Smiles.

Best wishes in your training.


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