People practice yoga and meditation for varied reasons but most often those reasons are health-related. For people who are not regular practitioners of yoga or meditation these two terms are often used interchangeably.
Although experts say that these two practices are very much interrelated, they are not exactly the same. To fully understand the link between these two therapies it is necessary to learn of their differences as well as their similarities.
The Differences between Yoga and Meditation
Meditation is one of the principles of yoga. It is a non-physical activity which is mainly concerned with mental relaxation and focus. It is in meditation that an individual focuses solely on his own thoughts and his manner of breathing.
Once a person becomes conscious of his breathing, he automatically makes his thinking process become more organized thereby allowing a state of calmness to be achieved.
Meditation is what brings the mind to a state of absolute stillness. In turn, practicing meditation on a regular basis brings about a more stable spiritual wellbeing as calmness of the mind is achieved. Regular practice of meditation will also help improve one’s ability to concentrate.
On the other hand, Yoga involves psycho-physical regulation that focuses on certain physical postures with the use of relaxation and controlled breathing techniques. Some of the known benefits of yoga include improved physical fitness, stress-control, mental clarity and better understanding of one’s self. Celebrities such as Sting and Madonna are known to be regular practitioners of yoga because they want to stay fit while improving their body’s flexibility.
The Similarities between Yoga and Meditation
To benefit from meditation it must be practiced on a regular basis even if an individual has already mastered it. The same is true with yoga so that people will be able to continue to reap its benefits which are known to play a crucial role in helping achieve success in life.
This favorable outcome is due to the fact that both yoga and meditation are known to help develop an individual’s sincerity, patience and determination. Yoga and meditation are the type of practices that should no longer be seen as a luxury but instead considered as something that is completely necessary for an individual to be able to wade through the demands of modern living.
Moving into Meditation from Yoga
While there is no questioning the effectiveness of meditation, some claim that the full benefits of meditation cannot be realized without first practicing yoga. In fact, yoga students are advised to avoid practicing meditation in the beginning of their training.
For them to qualify to undergo meditation sessions, they should first be knowledgeable about the fundamentals of yoga. Many people therefore ask whether it is really necessary to engage in meditation after learning all the basics of yoga. The answer is, they are fortunate being familiar with the basics of yoga as it allows them to slip right into the state of meditation without the need to exert much effort.
For people who have pre-existing medical conditions, make sure to first consult your doctor before practicing yoga or meditation.
For those who have no health problems, research and explore which type of yoga or meditation will suit you best!