Yoga Meditation: What it is and how to integrate it in your life
Yoga and meditation are two sides of the same coin. Both practices aim to care for body and mind. Since both are closely connected, it makes sense to combine yoga with meditation. In this article we explain how to do this.
What does Yoga mean?
The roots of yoga go back thousands of years. In the last 150 years, yoga has been adapted to the western world and has enjoyed increasing popularity ever since. By the way, “yoga” in Sanskrit literally means something like “connection, union”. You connect your body with your mind.
Although yoga has many names, the basic principle always remains the same: Through certain postures, so-called asanas, you stretch your body and calm your mind. This way you prepare it well for the long sitting while
Yoga or Meditation: Which one is better?
Although there are some differences between yoga and meditation, the two practices are undeniably linked. This eliminates the question of which of the two is better. Each practice is the best in its field.
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life.”– BKS Iyengar
During a meditation you train the ability to focus on a specific meditative object such as your breath or a mantra. You don’t learn how to stop your thoughts, but how to direct them back to the object of your meditation.
One difference between yoga and meditation is the physical aspect. In yoga, you move from one pose to the next, whereas in meditation you stay in one place and focus only on your mind. The physical element in yoga can help you to overcome pain and muscle tension.
How to meditate in Yoga
A yoga meditation helps you to concentrate fully on the present moment and to free the mind from negative thoughts.
You can easily meditate in yoga by closing your eyes during your next yoga session. Simply start focusing more on your breath and movements. Make sure that your environment is free of distractions and keep leading your digressive thoughts back to your breathing and posture.
As a beginner in yoga, it can be difficult to concentrate on the yoga exercises and meditation at the same time and even yoga classes may be an additional distraction in this case. We advise you: Take your time and set small goals. If you are not yet able to combine yoga with meditation, just perfect one or two yoga postures. It is important that you keep going and practice daily if possible.
Yoga-Meditation for beginners
As mentioned in the last section, it can be challenging for beginners to let themselves go during yoga meditation. For this reason, we have put together a few tips and tricks in this section to help you get started.
- Be in the moment: During your yoga meditation there is only you and the here and now. Past and future do not matter. If you keep catching yourself looking at the clock, set a timer and put all clocks out of reach.
- Focus on only one thing: Even if you feel at first that you have to concentrate on several things at once, you should try to focus on only one object. It does not matter whether you direct your thoughts to your breath, your sensations, a mantra or a meditation candle.
- Don’t be afraid of wandering thoughts: Many people think that meditation enables you to stop your thoughts completely. This is wrong. You only learn how to recognize your drifting thoughts with time and how to then redirect them back to the object of your meditation.
- Slowly increase your meditation time: Start small and take just a few minutes to start your yoga meditation. Once you get used to the practice, gradually increase this time by a few minutes.
- Do not let yourself be disturbed: From the outset, choose a time of day and a place where you are undisturbed for a few minutes. TV, radio or other distractions should be out of sight and out of hearing.
Why you should meditate in the morning
Your mind is at peace – What time is better for a relaxed yoga meditation than when everyone else is still asleep? Even if you find it difficult to get out of bed earlier than usual at first, you will enjoy the feeling of absolute peace in the morning.
More serenity for the rest of the day – In the Indian healing art Ayurveda, the time until six in the morning is characterized by lightness and an open mind. It is thus the best time to address your mind through meditation and prepare mentally for the challenges of the day.
Why should I meditate in the evening?
Perhaps you now think that the subject of meditation is finished for you with your morning meditation, but far from it!
Although yoga meditation in the morning helps you to not let the stress of everyday life get to you, at the end of the day our mind is still busy processing the annoyances of the day. A yoga meditation can speed up this process and bring body and mind to rest after a hard day.
How does Yoga affect body and soul?
Here we will introduce you to some benefits that yoga meditation can bring. Provided, of course, that you practice it regularly over a longer period of time. Of course, you will feel some benefits earlier than others. However, you should already feel a pleasant clarity after the first session of your yoga meditation.
Physical exercise such as yoga strengthens the heart and stimulates the blood circulation of the body. Movement in conjunction with conscious breathing promotes blood circulation.
As a result, more oxygen reaches the brain, among other things. Therefore, after a yoga meditation you will feel fresher and more awake and in the long run you will be able to lead your everyday life with more energy.
If meditation and yoga have one thing in common, then it is your ability to take away the body’s stress away or at least counteract it. Scientists have found that both practices stimulate the part of the brain responsible for relaxation. This part, also called the parasympathetic nervous system, inhibits the release of the stress hormone cortisol and helps your body to regenerate.
Above all, the conscious breathing that you learn during yoga meditation will help you to relax yourself in stressful situations through your breathing.
You protect your body from toxins.
Whether it’s pollutants in the air or unhealthy food – every day, many of us absorb a large load of poison into our bodies, which has a negative impact on our well-being and our health in the long term. Susceptibility to infections, more wrinkles, flatulence, depression, headaches and hair loss are just some of the many negative effects of too many pollutants in your body.
How good then that Yoga in combination with meditation has a detoxifying effect. On the one hand, you exhale toxins during yoga. On the other hand, you improve your digestion through various yoga postures and thus help your body to excrete the unwanted substances more quickly. In addition, the exercises activate your detoxification organs (kidney and liver) so that they are better supplied with blood and nutrients.
Your thyroid gland is also supported in its work by the yoga exercises. The hormone glands can work better and your hormone balance remains constant. This way you can prevent malfunctions of the thyroid gland like excessive appetite, nervousness and insomnia with yoga.
Yoga strengthens your muscles
Even if yoga does not seem so strenuous compared to other sports, you will soon notice that you are definitely starting to sweat. Even simple exercises like sun salutation should not be underestimated in combination with deep breathing.
Yoga is about exercising with your own body weight. If you have ever tried to hold your arms in the air for a minute, you will know that even your arms’ weight can become quite heavy over time.
During an extensive yoga session you activate almost all muscles. In contrast, in conventional sports such as football or tennis, you often only address certain parts of the body. In addition, yoga is good for your spine.
Yoga helps against pain
Long periods of sitting in the office, an uncomfortable mattress or an unfavorable posture can lead to tension and chronic pain. The reason for this is a one-sided strain on our fasciae – the connective tissue membranes of our body, which enclose our organs, muscles, bones and brain.
This is reason enough to take good care of your fascia. During a yoga meditation, you stretch your entire body thoroughly, move your fascia and build up muscles that protect your bones from injury.
By moving in all possible directions during yoga, you stretch your spine and release tension. A blocked spine can radiate pain to all parts of your body. It is therefore important that you move it regularly and consciously!
You’re doing your psyche some good
During a yoga meditation, you constantly think about your feelings and learn to be aware of your sensations. However, you do not evaluate your state of mind or try to change it. On the contrary, you gently direct your thoughts into a more positive direction, so that over time you develop a more optimistic view of the world.
By training your mindfulness, you will pay more attention to how your body feels during certain situations. How does your diet affect your mood and what happens if you don’t exercise for a long time? All these questions and the insights they provide will help you make healthier decisions for yourself and your life.
Over time, you will develop a benevolent attitude towards yourself. You learn not to judge yourself for your thoughts and in time you will know how to divert recurring negative thoughts. In this way you develop a certain control over your own well-being.
Conclusion – Yoga Meditation
Meditation and yoga are two different practices that can both reinforce each other. You can use this interaction of yoga meditation to live a more relaxed, healthier life and to feel fitter in the long run.
Your goal is to relax through meditation in everyday life? Then take a look at our free e-book “Meditation for Relaxation”. Just sign up for our newsletter and receive regular updates on yoga, meditation and other topics.