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Yoga as a Video Game: What Are The Benefits?

Updated on December 26, 2015

Video Game Adaptation of Yoga

Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of yoga enthusiasts and studios. Thus, it is a testament to the huge success of this industry in the market with more people becoming interested in adapting a healthy lifestyle, not just a workout routine or diet plan, which is something that yoga is highly capable of delivering. So, it wasn't all that surprising to many when yoga was adapted as a video game and there are various choices available for different game consoles in the market.

On the other hand, the video game industry is also one of the most profitable industries with lots of genres to choose from. Yoga video game is just one of several forms of video games that are geared for physical and health fitness. It is based on the idea that playing video games for a certain amount of time can have its consequential impact on one's state of mind, thus influencing one to make certain decisions in real life. After all, entering the game world immerses you into that experience to make you feel highly involved.

But for the developers of this game and yoga enthusiasts alike, developing a yoga video game is a great opportunity to build more awareness about yoga. This is not to say that yoga has not been known all these years, but most people are intimidated to practice it, thinking that it requires a certain level of skill to practice. With this game, they can get into the basics of doing yoga right at their own living room.

Conceptualization of the Game

As soon as you start playing this game, you will be introduced to a 3D yoga guru whose role it is to take you through an ashram where most of your yoga activities in the game will be conducted. The guide is a step-by-step approach to ensure that you are equipped with the foundational information you need to get started on the practice. Later on, you will be able to take on three distinct game modes until you can develop and adapt your own routine.

Yoga - Nintendo Wii - Video Games

Yoga for Wii (Trailer)

Playing Yoga Video Game

Upon starting to play this game, you will be introduced to this yoga guru who will teach you basic poses and how to go about your yoga routine. You will have to complete three game modes in order to finish the entire game. These three modes represent each aspect of your yoga routine that each aspiring yogi must know about. In addition, it also follows the same progression method that is one characteristic that traditional yoga has. Each of these modes are discussed in brief below:

*Story Mode – This is the stage of the game when you are introduced into the basics of doing yoga. The yoga guru will lead you to the ornate Ashram, wherein you will also begin your practice and learn about the chakras found all over your body and what they each represent in your overall well being. Gamers will easily notice the amount of visual detail put into the work to be able to deliver a truly realistic yoga atmosphere, especially given how yoga experts place emphasis on the location as playing a vital role in the overall yoga experience.

*Training Mode – This is the next stage in the game wherein you can decide on a specific set of yoga poses that you must adapt into your own practice. With a total of six set of poses, you can pick one that suits your own yoga style and develop mastery of it. To make this game as realistic as possible, each player has to invest some time learning and executing poses accurately. The training mode for this game therefore provides you the opportunity to practice what you learned.

*Yoga Routine – At the final stage of this game, you have to come up with your own routine that you have to regularly practice to achieve the benefits. As the first two processes are dedicated in learning the basics and finding your own style to use, this final step is when you have to decide the amount of time you invest for practicing.

Tool for Establishing Your Own Routine

Since the yoga video game is still basically set in a virtual world, several critics are questioning as to the ability of yoga enthusiasts in using it as a tool for their own practice. A nice touch about the yoga routines included in the game is that most of them were designed for a specific purpose, such as providing cure for common conditions like chronic back pain, headaches, common cold, arthritis, and so much more. With the modern world setting, constant exposure to stress, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and other factors that lead to various health concerns.

This is the same reason why yoga has gained increased popularity over the recent years and video game developers are looking to further that by using the success of this industry to promote the benefits of yoga. It therefore serves as an interactive tutorial by offering basic to complex set of postures that users of varied skill level can adapt on their own.

But the developers of this game has more in mind than just simply mimicking the poses of yoga. They also wanted to relive the mind-body-soul integration that it has been known for. Thus, it is very evident in the meditation approach that is incorporated along with the physical exercises, staying true to the yogic philosophy that the ancient yoga masters have introduced.

Theoretical Support for the Game

To fully utilize the video game approach requires an extensive amount of research to educate gamers about the basic knowledge of yoga, promote it, and encourage gamers to develop their own routine. Hence, the developers realize the importance of providing accurate information and specialized routines that players can actually use. It has taken out important notes from various yoga philosophers and literature. Gaining expert information is important since the game creators expect that players will do this routine themselves at home and without expert supervision.

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