Well, not exactly. But close. According to this NY Times article today, the good old push-up is a very good measure of one’s overall fitness. Not surprisingly, most people can’t do many, if any, push-ups.
In a Vinyasa Flow yoga class, or in an Ashtanga class, you will probably do anywhere from 10 to 50 vinyasas, incorporating Chaturanga each time; essentially you are doing push-ups. Personally, I think doing a vinyasa (with proper alignment in Chaturanga) is much harder than doing a regular old push-up, but even if it’s not, it’s fair to infer from what this article has to say about push-ups that yoga is about a lot more than just stretching and flexibilty.
Here’s my favorite quote from the article:
“The push-up is the ultimate barometer of fitness. It tests the whole body, engaging muscle groups in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs. It requires the body to be taut like a plank with toes and palms on the floor. The act of lifting and lowering one’s entire weight is taxing even for the very fit.”