Yoga & Meditation

Many people believe that yoga and mediation go hand in hand not only because of the similar relaxing effects that meditation has but also because it’s one of the Five Principles of yoga. The practice of mediation and yoga have been tied together since yoga’s development hundreds of years ago. Many poses in yoga are considered to be meditative and in turn meditation can often strengthen and deepen your yoga practice so the two aspects of the practice complement each other quite well.

Meditation is simply the practice of quieting your mind and focusing on the present moment - many yogis accomplish this by the use of the breath as a focal point during meditation. The idea is simply to keep your mind clear and focus on your breathing for a few minutes each day. The point isn’t to ignore your thoughts or to push them away but simply to release them and keep them from distracting to you from your focus on the present.

As a tool meditation can seriously help you take your yoga practice to the next level and it can really open you up to a new way of practicing your yoga. One of the main things students often struggle with when they first start their yoga practice is the difficulty that comes with maintaining a focus on your poses and not on the other students in the class, your grocery list, what you’re making for dinner that night, who said what at work and on and on.

If you’re able to maintain your focus on your poses and your class at the present time you’ll be able to gain a great deal more out of your class than you would if you were worrying about how much better the girl next to you looks in her yoga pants or wondering what the guy at the end of your row thinks of you. So meditation can be a key tool for you to make good use of your time as you practice your yoga and it’s also something can be taken out into your life and applied there as well.

The most basic idea here is to cultivate a meditation practice at home that can be paired with your yoga practice. Fortunately meditation, much like yoga, requires next to nothing in the way of tools and supplies. All it takes is a quiet, safe place, a few minutes of your time and maybe a pillow to sit on. If you like you can also find a nice cd of meditative music or a guided meditation to listen to as you practice. There really is no right way to go about mediating - so long as you focus on the present and follow your breath.

Similarly to yoga, meditation requires practice and determination. It can be very overwhelming at first when you try to calm your mind and find dozens of thoughts trying to squirm their way in but it’s important not to be discouraged because it will take some time for you to get the hang of it. Once you do however you can apply your meditation practice to all sort of different areas in your life above and beyond your yoga routines.

Your meditation can also help you relieve stress, get sick less often, be more productive at work, sleep better, be calmer and more peaceful throughout the day and many other benefits as well. Dedicate some time to this practice as well as your yoga and you will definitely see positive results from it.