And, unlike most gym type workouts, it stimulates the parasympathetic system rather than the sympathetic system, which is useful for the majority of people that are under chronic stress and therefore in sympathetic overload. A gym workout for someone in chronic stress is counterproductive as lifting weights or running on a treadmill further stimulates the sympathetic system, the stress/cortisol response and all that that entails.
It’s woo on two levels. First, there’s no evidence that Yoga somehow uniquely activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Secondly, traditional “gym workouts”, carried out over enough time to condition the cardiovascular system do in fact increase parasympathetic tone, as evidenced by the slower heart rates of conditioned individuals.
I plan to parse the religious and pseudoscientific underpinnings of Yoga in future posts.