Many people consider yoga and meditation as synonymous with each other. This is not fully the case although yoga can be a useful starting point for setting the intention for a meditation session.
The mind-body connection is by no means a new concept for humankind. Whenever we see a juicy donut and feel our stomach rumble, it is an example of this connection. However, more intensified forms and manifestations of this important connection can be found through yoga and meditation.
It is meaningful to realize that the mind-body connection is not always something positive. Confident and talented people stumbling through a performance due to anxiety or fear which manifests in their mind is one example. Using Yoga to influence a deeper and more effective meditation regime however, can be a positive outcome.
Traditional Yogis consider this connection deeply important not just during practice but teaching as well. When they teach students different techniques such as Pratyahara (understanding the senses and taking them inward as opposed to instruments for external perception), the mind-body connection comes in very handy.
The concept is that in order for the body to recover, the mind must be still and cleansed of unpleasant emotions and thoughts. According to Harvard research when the mind silences itself and goes ‘off’ for a while, the responses of the body are more positive and optimal such as low blood pressure.
Both yoga and meditation work towards a common goal. This is to sharpen focus and to extract attention away from things that don’t add value to your life. A well-understood premise is that energy and motivation are largely finite resources.
If they are spent on activities and resources which are against your personality and well-being, you will have not much left to invest back into your mental and physical health.
In Yoga Retreats
This is part of why people indulge in a yoga holiday in an exotic, scenic location because it makes the transition from a negative to a positive mindset easier. It may be difficult to radically change habits right where you are at home which is why a meditation or yoga retreat may prove a game-changer.
Yoga retreats not only provide the best background for relaxation and self-reflection; they have gurus and professional yogis to impart wisdom and training. The proximity to nature and proper guidance can dramatically improve your yoga skills. You may find that in most retreats, yoga postures are a prelude to an intensive meditation session.
Scientific Studies About Yoga-Induced Focus
Many studies with a focus group (given yoga training) and a control group (not practicing yoga or meditation) have found that the former ended up more blissful. Other findings have indicated a state of great relaxation which enhances effectiveness in daily tasks as well as potentially stressful ones.
If you are really busy in your life and find it hard to take out the time for one-hour classes, even a 15-minute session could really perk you up.
Movement, Lucidity, And Flexibility
Life in today’s world is a testament to a sedentary lifestyle. Most people are either glued to their television or laptop screens at home or don’t really leave their desk at work for upwards of 10 hours a day. Most regular people don’t have a job which involves serious legwork and movement.
This is why most people are at risk of reduced muscle mass and joint problems, especially as they age. Yoga can provide beneficial light exercise which will in turn release endorphins and happy hormones which make subsequent meditation more effective.
While meditation works on strengthening the mind, helping it accept and endure the effects of people and events, yoga does something similar for the body. Yoga can create fluidity in the body, making it stronger and more flexible and tools like yoga blocks can come in handy if you suffer from arthritis or pain.
Compelled To Eat Healthier
Yoga and meditation practiced together can be very powerful. They open one up to the possibilities of the way our minds influence our bodies and vice versa. These can then give you the push that is needed to be more conscious of what you are consuming on a daily basis.
Research has shown that regular combined yoga and meditation sessions increase self-esteem which in turn prevents the eating of comfort junk food like sugary treats. Meditation in itself can also give you a glimpse inside so you can determine the causes of your poor eating habits.
Eliminating Stress And Recovery
Stress is a killer as it triggers inflammation and disrupts healthy hormone secretion in the body. This resultant dysfunction can cause heart disease, blood pressure problems and a plethora of other inflammatory diseases.
Sufferers of anxiety disorders and panic attacks are often recommended to partake in yoga and meditation with or without accompanying pharmaceutical drugs.
In today’s life, it may seem impossible to fully escape stressful events and situations. Most working people deal with these on an hourly basis and that can erode one’s mental health over time.
Meditation and yoga can strengthen resilience and acceptance, granting you the power to deal with your personal life better and also emotionally invest in the right places.
Insomnia is another common cause of high-stress levels during the day. A vicious circle is created by the lack of sleep as it leads to exhaustion and inability to complete tasks which further makes it difficult to get sleep.
Connection Through Breathwork
Breathwork is the name of a range of concepts which employ breathing exercises for the betterment of the body and mind. Breathwork is a major component of both yoga and meditation and used for the achievement of similar goals.
Breathwork involves controlling the flow of your breathing and creating new patterns. Yoga employs various postures for this while different types of meditation use it as a starting skill which should be developed.
Renewal And Anti-Aging
The desire for anti-aging is not a new pursuit, but few of us realize the impact of our mental processes on the way our body ages.
While there is a never-ending list of hacks and tricks that can make you feel rejuvenated and younger, one of the best-known methods is to practice yoga and meditation.
The heavily researched effects of meditation and yoga on the well-being of the body (better physiological responses and reduced inflammation) make it an excellent tonic for aging well.
There is also supporting research that both these practices can aid in neural regeneration, a better immune function and an increased ability of the body to heal itself.
Breathwork, as mentioned earlier, in a yoga regime, can affect the body down to the cells causing healthy regeneration.
Getting Used To The Stillness
Yoga and meditation are different practices but both are immensely spiritually healing for the human body, which is why it is no surprise they are often used in conjunction.
While yoga has primarily risen from the East, it is globally practiced by everyone regardless of their faith or beliefs.
Both of these practices when implemented with a seeking heart and an open mind can be the cure for ‘monkey brain’ and scattered thoughts. Many believe that the mind helps manifest our physical environment which is why it is no wonder that positivity leads to positive results.