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Is Yoga Meditation? Yoga vs Meditation Practice

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Yoga and meditation have many positive effects on the body and mind. When it comes to the physical practice of yoga and meditation, there is much confusion about these two practices.

Image of women in a yoga meditation class

Yoga vs Meditation Practice

Many people think they are the same, but this is not true. Though both yoga and meditation practices share some similarities, they also have several key differences. To understand the true nature of yoga and meditation, it is important to explore each one in-depth.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India. It is a practice of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises designed to promote health and well-being. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root Yuj, which means “to unite.” The ultimate goal of a yoga practice is to create balance and harmony in the body.

How to Practice Yoga

There are many different types and forms of yoga (for instance, restorative yoga, ashtanga yoga, hatha yoga, and even hot yoga), but they all have the same goal: to bring about physical, mental, and emotional balance.

You can do yoga practice (asana practice) in many different ways, but all yoga practices have three things in common: breathing, postures, and meditation. image of woman practicing yoga.
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Breathing is an integral part of yoga and can control the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight-or-flight response.[] Breathwork can help bring about a state of relaxation.

Physical Exercises

There are many yoga poses - relaxing poses such as the child's pose and forward bends and activating poses such as the downward-facing dog. The type of yoga you do will depend on your goals and what you feel comfortable doing.

Yoga is just as much for mental training as it is for the physical aspect. Thus, you can expect both your physical and mental health to benefit from each yoga session.

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What Is Meditation?

Meditation is part of the yoga lifestyle and requires little movement, making it perfect for people with chronic pain and health conditions. Meditation practices involve the pursuit of mental stability and focus. The goal is to reach a higher level of consciousness and achieve a state of inner calm. Meditation frequently entails focusing on one object or image for an extended period.

Physical Practices of Meditation

There are many different types of meditation, such as seated meditation practice, but they all have one goal: to quiet the mind for emotional and mental stability. When the mind is quiet, we can focus on the present moment and achieve a sense of inner peace, mental health benefits like mental clarity and self-awareness, and better emotional health.

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Is Yoga the Same As Meditation? What Are the Differences?

Though they share some similarities and help you unlock your divine spirit, yoga and meditation are not the same. Meditation is a part of the yoga lifestyle but is not the only thing. Classical yoga sessions include physical and mental exercises, while meditation focuses on the pursuit of mental stability.

A Holistic Perspective

As a holistic approach, yoga focuses on the present moment to promote physical health and wellness through physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Meditation is a practice that helps quiet the mind and bring about inner peace. It involves focusing on a particular object or symbol.

While combining yoga with regular meditation practice has many benefits, the two are not interchangeable. It is critical to understand the difference between these two practices to get the most out of each one.

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What Is Yoga Meditation?

Yoga meditation practice is an exercise that combines both meditation and yoga. As such, you get all the benefits of each form to maximize your healthy lifestyle. There are several different postures to help you focus on the present moment. Some are activating physical poses such as sun salutations and arm balances, while others are relaxing poses.

Yoga and Meditation Practice

Activating poses stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the fight-flight-freeze response. Activating poses helps us focus on the present and our surroundings. Relaxing poses activate the parasympathetic nervous system and promote stress reduction.

If you are interested in making yoga exercise or mindfulness meditation practice a part of your daily life, we recommend finding a yoga class or instructor to help guide you through the process.

Remember to focus on the present moment and your breath. Relax and let go of any expectations or preconceived notions about what yoga or meditation should be. Above all, be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey!

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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material, is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your specific condition.

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