Fitness Sports Tips Yoga

The Difference Between Stretching and Yoga (Why Yoga Isn’t Just Fancy Stretching)

February 15, 2016

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Not going to lie; when I first started thinking about this, I didn’t really see any difference between stretching and yoga. Maybe yoga is just a little more sporty?

*reads a few articles… thank you Google*

So turns out, there really is a difference between stretching and yoga.

Well yeah, one’s become a million dollar industry, including everything from special yoga socks to mats of every colour, while the other is usually taught to kids during PE class.

But before we launch into this great debate, let’s talk about some of the benefits of stretching (and warming up) first:

+ more mobility and flexibility
+ less risk of injury
+ increased blood flow
+ loosening tension

Yoga gives you allll those PLUS:

+ builds muscle strength
+ ups your mood
+ promotes a healthy lifestyle
+ improves your balance
+ so much more
(and a few debatable ones…. like boosting sexual performance)

Not a bad deal right? There are also a few other things that show the difference between stretching and yoga.

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differences-yoga-stretching-3(I just though this was a hilarious photo…)

+ Stretching is good when you use various moves but yoga is more about the flow of various moves.

This might be the most obvious difference between stretching and yoga; yoga is all about series of moves and the flow between them. You’ll never hear a yoga instructor just going through and counting down 15 seconds between multiple moves. Speaking of a yoga instructor, if you’re thinking of becoming one yourself, then it could be worth checking out SiddhiYoga.com for more info about how to start your training!

+ You can breathe while stretching (and probably should) but yoga has an emphasis on breathing.

And even though breathing while stretching is usually good (as it is for most things…), yoga actually puts on emphasis on breathing exercises (pranayama).

+ Yoga’s about your mental game too.

While you could use your stretching time to visualise scoring that winning goal, yoga is generally more about mentality than just stretching is.

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All this being said on the difference between stretching and yoga though, it’s important to remember that neither stretching or yoga should really be a stand-alone workouts. The makings a true fitness are strength, flexibility, balance and cardio.

While yoga does cover most of the first three, it’s not really a cardio workout (that being said, it’s definitely not easy either… have you tried hot yoga?!). And stretching is really nothing more than flexibility-enhancing (it should really just be your warm up).

What do you think? Are you team yoga or team stretch?

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