7 Yoga Alternatives: Mind-Body Workouts

Yoga has become very popular in recent times and you will find many yoga studios opening all over the world. However, yoga may not be suitable for everyone.

In this post, we will list the best yoga alternatives and discuss every little detail about them.

Yoga is a spiritual kind of exercise that has a mind-body connection. It connects your mind with your body giving you some great benefits.

In fact, most people find yoga as a stress reliever. Studies confirmed that as a fact because yoga decreases the cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Also, yoga decreases anxiety to a great degree.

Yoga is the kind of exercise that lets you think and look at the world from a different level. You can go to a yoga class very depressed and stressed. But after the class, you would feel that you are a different kind of person.

It improves the quality of life in general and definitely it is a good thing to practice daily.

However, some people do not prefer to go to yoga classes either because they tried and it didn’t get them any results, or just because they don’t believe in it.

There are many alternatives to yoga that could do the same job and offer the same benefits. Continue reading, you will discover these alternatives, and get all the information you need about them.

yoga alternatives

Best Yoga Alternatives

1. Ballet

When you first read the word ballet, you would think of your childhood. Many of us went to a ballet class when we were little children.

Does that stop us from going now that we are old? Absolutely not. You might ask what does ballet has to do with yoga, but in fact, they are pretty close.

Ballet is a form of dancing that has many great and similar benefits to yoga. Most importantly, people who practiced ballet found out that after each class, they feel happy.

Just imagine yourself dancing while listening to your favorite song, your serotonin would be very high. With that being said, it is similar to yoga regarding depression and anxiety.

Also, practicing ballet improves your posture and will develop good daily habits. While we sit in our offices and desks all day long, we develop bad sitting habits and bad posture.

By going to some ballet classes, you would totally eliminate that and you will have a healthy posture again. Not to mention increasing flexibility and the ability to train.

Pros

  • Improves posture
  • Increase flexibility
  • Helps in serotonin secretion

Cons

  • Not the best in building muscle
  • Could be difficult for elderly people

2. Martial Arts

When we say Martial Arts, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably kung-fu panda. Martial Arts include kung-fu, karate, judo, and many other forms of fighting. Martial Arts are very ancient especially in the Chinese and Japanese cultures.

It is a form of a mind-body exercise just like yoga. It targets every and each aspect of the mind and the body. It connects them together to form the perfect action and reaction.

While practicing any form of martial arts, you will find that it gives you an improvement in posture, form, and mind-muscle connection.

It improves nearly every aspect of your body. Not to mention improving your heart health, building muscle, and improving flexibility in some forms.

Practicing martial arts could be beneficial as a yoga alternative just because it has the same health benefits to the body and even more.

Talking about mental health, martial arts could act like a big stress reliever. Imagine that you are stressed and nervous and you are able to release that in a form of fighting. After doing that, you will feel relieved and the stress would definitely go away.

Pros

  • Increases cardiovascular health
  • Builds muscle
  • Stress reliever
  • Self-defense tool

Cons

  • Could be difficult for elderly people
  • Not for people who are against violence

3. Contemporary Dance

Contemporary dancing is not your typical type of dancing that is so ancient. Instead, it is a modern type of dancing that mixes many forms of ballet and classical dancing together.

When you first witness a contemporary dance show, you will be amazed at how great this kind of exercise is. You dance and perform while listening to different kinds of music and music genres and sometimes you express yourself while dancing.

Contemporary dancing has many benefits that relate to the body and to the mind. Anything that includes memorizing and a reaction mixes up your mind with your body which we call “mind-body connection”.

This kind of exercise improves flexibility as you would do some crazy dances that challenge your body, especially your legs.

Also, contemporary dancing improves relaxation and helps in self-expression. When dancing and doing multiple moves one after another, you would feel the freedom in your body’s movement, and definitely, you would feel happy.

Contemporary dancing is a great alternative to yoga because not only it has great benefits to the body, it benefits your mind too.

After practicing contemporary dancing you would feel that you found your inner peace and comfort zone where you feel the happiest.

When you would feel stressed, you would dance for some time and then the problem is solved, this is the most important benefit of contemporary dancing.

Pros

  • Self-expression
  • Improves relaxation
  • Increases flexibility

Cons

  • Takes a long time to learn

4. Pilates

Pilates is mixed sometimes with yoga because of how similar they are to each other. Pilates is a form of sport that was invented back in the 1920s in Germany. Pilates, in the beginning, was not a regular form of exercise.

Instead, it was a kind of physical therapy and a rehab exercise for soldiers. What is so special about Pilates is that it is not for a specific religious-belief or cultural-belief, unlike martial arts and similar forms of exercise that relate to some religions and beliefs.

Pilates is a great form of exercise as it teaches you how to have your complete focus on the movement you are doing with your body. It improves the mind-body connection very efficiently just like yoga.

However, Pilates main focus is on the body. As it was a rehab kind of exercise, it is mainly used to strengthen our muscles and increase our fitness levels.

Unlike some sports that focus only on certain muscles, Pilates targets each and every muscle in our bodies.

If you are bored with yoga and you want an alternative that gives you similar results regarding your body health and mental health, consider going to Pilates classes.

Pros

  • Rehabilitation exercise
  • Not specific to any kind of belief
  • Beneficial to the body and to the mind

Cons

  • No cardiovascular improvements

5. Parkour

Parkour is the kind of exercise that you get amazed at when you first see it. It is involved in every action movie we watch. Do you see how these actors jump, roll, and climb the obstacles they get in their way?

This is Parkour. Parkour is an extreme sport that is not easy and definitely not for everyone. However, when you practice it smartly, you will see the results coming your way.

Parkour has many great benefits to the body and also to the mind. It is a full-body workout that strengthens and builds muscles but also burns fat as the sport consists of running, jumping, and climbing, it burns a lot of calories in a single session.

Parkour also develops a quick decision making brain. Because you will face obstacles immediately and sometimes you won’t expect them coming, you will have to make a decision and an action to prevent yourself from falling or hitting the obstacle.

Also, Parkour develops your self-confidence and it will definitely let you know your worth.

If you are bored with yoga and you want an extreme form of a sport, Parkour is definitely your way to go. It has many benefits to the body and to the mind, just like yoga.

Pros

  • Burns a lot of calories
  • Develops quick decision making
  • Improves self-confidence

Cons

  • Extreme

6. Climbing

Climbing is a form of exercise that is feared by many people. However, it is a great form of exercise that develops many aspects of our body and mind.

It is an indoor and outdoor exercise that is great for both children and adults, men and women. It is not similar to yoga in practice, but surely, it has the same benefits that make it a great alternative to it.

Climbing has many physical benefits such as that it is considered as a full-body workout. Many people think that to start climbing, you need to have a strong body which stops many people from doing it.

However, climbing does not need you to be strong at all. All you should focus on is the technique and movement.

Climbing improves and builds your muscle mass and strength and improves your cardiovascular health. It targets nearly all the body muscles including legs, pulling muscles “back and biceps”, forearms, and the shoulders.

Also, it strengthens your grip which can be translated to other sports such as weightlifting.

Also, not only climbing benefits the body, but it also benefits the mind. Climbing improves your mind-body connection, relieves stress, and improves your visualization and goal setting.

Most importantly, it increases your self-confidence to a great degree. Did you ever think that you would climb such a high distance? Never.

Pros

  • Increases self-confidence
  • Improves and builds muscle mass and strength
  • Improved goal setting
  • Builds your character.

Cons

  • Outdoor climbing could be risky

7. Resistance Training

Resistance Training is a form of exercise that involves external weight to be lifted. Commonly, resistance training is translated to going to the gym. However, it is not always the case.

Resistance training could be done with dumbbells, barbells, resistance-machines, pulley systems, or even resistance bands. It is a kind of sport that could be done at home or at a commercial gym, or even at your garage.

Resistance training involves many sports such as powerlifting, weightlifting, Crossfit, and bodybuilding.

Each one of these sports has its rules and special movements. However, there is a great overlap between them. Resistance training is not necessarily just like yoga, but it has some great benefits that are worth mentioning.

Resistance training’s main focus is to increase muscle mass, muscle strength, and endurance.

Most people also focus on resistance training to lose fat and get fit. It is the best tool if you are looking for body recomposition especially if you want to be muscular.

You might think that resistance training benefits are only to the muscles but that’s wrong.

Resistance training prevents many chronic diseases related to the heart, prevents diabetes and improves blood glucose levels, and improves your mood. When going to the gym and getting your workout done, you would notice that your mood has totally changed and your serotonin is at its higher levels.

Pros

  • The best in building muscle
  • Prevents many diseases
  • Improves mood

Cons

  • Not for you if you don’t want to be muscular

Final Words

In conclusion, yoga is a very beneficial form of exercise that is spiritual and connects the mind with the body.

Most importantly, it acts as a stress reliever but also decreases depression and anxiety. Not to mention benefits related to the body too.

We have listed the best alternatives to yoga that have the same benefits to the mind and the body.

We have mentioned different kinds of exercises that are more physically-focused and spiritually-focused.

All you have to is to read carefully, see what sport do you feel would suit you, and you will be ready to practice any yoga alternative on this list.

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