Exercise versus Yoga

It was shocking to know that Saurav Ganguli suffered a heart attack. He is just 48, weighs 68 kg, and with a height of 180 cm, his BMI is well within the limit.

A former captain of Indian cricket team and the president of BCCI, Ganguli hits Gym every day, goes for daily cycling, doesn’t drink and takes a normal vegetarian diet.

Then what happened? He has wherewithal to take care of his preventive health check up etc., but still his three arteries were found blocked more than 90%, and stents had to be planted.

But he is not alone. We come across a number of such cases, in recent past too. Himanshu Thakkar, 40, while participating in Mumbai marathon last year suffered a heart attack and had to undergo an emergency angioplasty.

The police inspector Nitin Kakde, a gallantry award winner, who was a part of anti-terror operations during 26/11 attack died in November 2019 after suffering a heart attack.

He was 43, and was running along Marine Drive in Mumbai for preparing for the forthcoming marathon, when he collapsed. He was fit and had participated in the previous five marathons.

Sudden cardiac arrest leaves a very little window for medical help. So, the two common worrying signs – chest discomfort and unusual shortness of breath, should not be ignored. Doctors say, “Listen to your body, and if it complains of a discomfort, you need to slow down and go for a check-up.”

While running or exercising, we should not stop suddenly. Both start and stop should be gradual with warm-up and slowdown respectively.

Key risk factors of having a heart attack are said to be substance abuse, smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol level, lack of exercise and poor diet, but none of these applied to the above-mentioned cases.

The fact is that in this modern fast life, we rely on gym; rather it has become a fashion statement of most of the smart young people, who has not yet accepted yoga, and don’t even try to practise yoga.

Yoga is a mix of physical, mental and spiritual activities. It helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and heart rate, besides off-loading stress, making it a useful lifestyle intervention.

We may evaluate the two to see which one is really beneficial:

-Exercise involves fast movements and labour, while yoga relaxes the body.

-Exercise involves fast and dynamic movements, while yoga meeds slow movements.

-Exercise needs more energy, oxygen and nutritious food, while slow movements in yoga require less energy.

-Exercise increases breathing rate, while yoga controls breathing rate.

-Exercise results in fatigue, while yoga makes one calm and cool.

-Exercise leads to muscle building, while yoga relaxes the body muscles.

-Exercise reduces the flexibility of the muscles and make them stiff, while constant practice of yogasanas make the muscles more flexible.

-People of all ages cannot exercise, but yoga can be practised at any age.

-Obesity reduced by exercise increases when one stops exercising, while obesity reduced by yoga does not increase when one stops yoga.

-Expensive tools are required for exercise, while no tools are required for yoga.

-Certain ailments may be cured by practising yoga, but the exercise may not cure any ailment.

Considering all the above points, it may be easily inferred which one is more beneficial.

However, a balance between the two may be maintained by young folks, depending upon their choice and interest.

–Kaushal Kishore



  1. Yes for yoga, for body, mind and soul. I used to do it regularly every day in my forties, then at 47 years old I went back to study and told myself that I did not have time for yoga. That was a mistake because it was so centering for me. πŸ™

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent post, KK, there is no doubt, that yoga is the one most suited to the human body.
    I always thought that taking part in a marathon is high of foolishness.
    Personally, I follow ancient Egyptians with great results; zero calcification, and heartas clean as a whistle.
    Thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

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        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great Joanna, many many thanks. I read your blog as well. Incidentally, the first thing in the morning I do is to take two raw cloves of garlic with hot lemon water. This practice continues for the last 25 years at least. Garlic is nature’s gift, and now garlic tablets are also in the market. Beautiful post, very useful. Thanks again!


    1. Yes, I also feel that dance or calisthenics should be combined with yoga. Thank you, Michele, for resonating and sharing your perspective as well.πŸ™

      Liked by 1 person

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