When most people think of yoga and meditation, the two are often thought of as the same thing. They are not. Yoga is a meditative practice, while meditation is a method of reducing stress and focusing your mind. People who meditate typically use yoga and meditation practices as a way to quiet their mind and reduce anxiety, while others who want to be more proactive in their lives use meditation to focus their minds and remain calm and serene. Here are a few ideas about the similarities and differences between yoga and meditation.
Both yoga and meditation are focused on being in touch with your body and with all the aspects of your life. Yoga has strong elements of meditation incorporated right into it: an emphasis on being present in the present moment and a close connection between body, mind, and breath. Also, a common moving meditation is using awareness and alertness to be aware and mindful of movement without an end or goal, but rather just enjoying what is happening in every present moment as it occurs – being present, observing without judgment or concern, and being aware that everything is in a present state. Meditation uses techniques such as breathing to focus the mind as well, breathing with your stomach in and out and letting the air fill the lungs.
There are many other yoga asanas, or poses, that are commonly practiced, including seated meditation and standing meditation. However, yoga poses aren’t always used in practicing meditation. In fact, some meditations, such as breathing meditation, can be done without yoga poses. These meditations are called mindfulness meditations. Someone may sit quietly for five minutes, or they may walk around slowly, or they may do some simple yoga postures to bring themselves into a mindful state.
If you are sitting, for instance, when you close your eyes and focus on your breathing, which will be controlled by yoga postures, you will soon find yourself in a meditative state. Your thoughts will become less intense, and you will not feel as if you are focusing your mind on something intensely. The same thing happens when you are walking or doing other simple activities; you focus on your actions, and your breath, until they become subtle and you are not concentrating on anything intensely at all.
There are many different ways to practice yoga and get into a daily practice, without having to actually do yoga poses. You can use meditation to quiet your mind and focus your attention on one thing, such as breathing, or you can use meditation to rid your body and mind of unnecessary thoughts. It is important that you find a way that works best for you. For instance, if you are short on time, it may be best to learn some simple yoga poses, such as the back bend and other asanas, and practice them every day for several weeks. When you are able to do the back bend in the most basic way possible, without too much difficulty, you will know how to do the pose with complete ease.
However, if you have enough time and energy, or if you prefer to learn from a DVD, you can take yoga classes in your local area or online. You can also buy books that teach you how to meditate, which may help you to learn yoga and reduce anxiety. In fact, yoga can benefit your mental health, too, by allowing you to have a more positive outlook on life. Many people who practice yoga find that they are happier, more focused, physically healthier, and have more energy than they did before they started yoga. If yoga is done properly and regularly, it can help to make these same improvements in your life. You may even want to try yoga to treat specific health problems that you are struggling with.