Many people often confuse yoga with meditation. The confusion lies in the fact that both of these offer physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits to the body. However, there are differences between yoga and meditation. You must be wondering how? Let’s have a closer look at both of them one by one to have a better understanding.
What is Yoga?
The Sanskrit word “Yoga” means union. According to Indian philosophy, yoga is the union of body, mind, and energy to enhance the physical, mental and spiritual well being of a person.
Yoga mainly aims at removing obstacles and suffering from the normal way of living. It is the practice of physical exercise, breath control, relaxation, diet control, and positive thinking.
But yoga doesn’t necessarily entail only stretching or intense physical exercises. Yoga is also largely about mental fitness.
Also Read: Yoga Poses for Every Women
What is Meditation?
Meditation is more of a skill that you have to learn over the years. Meditation is more of a spiritual practice that trains the mind to be aware of. While meditating, one focuses more on the energies within the body on a particular object. Just like any other skill, you have to practice meditation regularly to master it.
Meditation is more about exercising the mind rather than the body muscles.
Many people think that meditation is more of becoming a new person or a better person. But, it is more about training yourself to be aware of the surroundings and getting a new perspective on any issue without any judgments.
The Relation Between Yoga and Meditation
As discussed above, meditation involves no exercises or bodily movements. The person has to just sit in one place and focus their energies towards a particular object, sound, breath, etc. The relation between yoga and meditation lies in the fact that meditation is an integral part of yoga. Yoga instructors ask their students to perform meditation after their daily yoga routine. The main reason being that after practicing yoga, the body is filled with vibrations that need to be stabilized. The perfect solution to achieve this stable condition for both the mind and the body is meditation.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga and Meditation Together
When yoga and meditation are practiced together, it strengthens the connection between the mind and the body which improves the overall fitness and wellbeing of the body. Many people experienced health benefits when they practised yoga and meditation consistently together. Some of the benefits are explained below-
Management of stress
Stress is one of the biggest contributors of health issues such as elevated blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases. Practicing yoga regularly not only decreases stress in the body but also reduces the inflammation caused due to stress factors. Meditation plays a big role in such circumstances as this helps to reduce anxiety and panic attacks. (Also Read: How to Reduce Stress at Workplace? )
Boosts up emotions
There is sufficient evidence that points out the fact that emotions play an important role when it comes to the overall well being of a person. As meditation works by focussing the body’s energy towards one point, it can help in uplifting the emotions in people who are most of the time depressed or have negative feelings. The plus point of meditation is that it can be practiced anywhere. If you are having a tough day at work which is stirring negative feelings inside you, take a 10-minute break by shutting your eyes and taking deep breaths.
Our desk jobs restrict our bodily movements to the minimum. Yoga asanas help to stretch and lengthen the muscles to increase physical flexibility. Moreover, flexibility entails not only physical but also mental wellbeing. A flexible mind is the one that is unknown of what will happen in the future but is curious. It is similar to a baby exploring the world afresh. Mental flexibility comes with regular meditation.
Enhances overall health
Modern life is very stressful. We come across various situations that leave us all fatigued and weak. Anxiety disorders can lead to little-to-no sleep that gives rise to other health complications. Yoga combined with meditation improves the quality as well as the length of life. This will boost up the physical as well as mental wellbeing thereby improving the overall health of a person.