Yoga and meditation bring wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” ― Buddha
The science of yoga and meditation originated in India nearly 5000 years ago. Since then, thousands of people have devoted their whole lives to these ancient art and sciences.
Yoga and meditation for the mind and body have helped and are still helping thousands of people all around the globe. People all around the world are waking up to the beauty and importance of yoga and meditation for the mind and body.
Yoga and meditation work out best when used in combination. The yoga postures help open and purify the body with different yogic postures. The yoga postures are essential to still the monkey mind.
Once the body and mind are still with the help of yoga asanas, we can then move on to meditation which involves sitting in a meditative pose and focusing on the breath. As there are different types of yoga postures, there are different kinds of meditations.
Yoga asanas can also be a kind of meditation in their own if we can concentrate our awareness on each inhale, exhale and on each movement of the yogic asanas. This is one way in which a beautiful union of meditation and yoga can take place.
The conventional and the most practiced way is first to do the yogic asanas which open and purify the body and then proceed to sit in a meditative pose. This is what many yogis and spiritual masters do and is one of the most effective ways to move towards spiritual growth and healing.
Here are a few benefits of practicing yoga and meditation for the mind and body:
When yoga and meditation are practiced together, many people around the globe have observed a significant increase in overall health or even a particular health issue. Improved digestion, reduced back pain, healing migraines, managing diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. are just some of the health benefits of yoga and meditation.
Yoga combined with meditation and breathing exercises (pranayama) also help with healing and effectively managing lung diseases and problems like asthma. Some people have cured their multiple sclerosis with the help of the wonderful combination of yoga and meditation.
Yoga and meditation, when practiced together also reduce stress and anxiety. As the body is opened and purified with yoga, and there is silence within, stress and anxiety become less frequent visitors and we feel more peaceful and connected.
Opening of the Body and Mind
Yoga and meditation, when practiced together gracefully expand the mind and body. The asanas stretch and twist the body, and when done correctly, they open the body and energy channels of the body.
As energy channels of the body are opened, the body starts to purify from dense and toxic energy has been collected over the years.
Once the energy channels are open, and the body is purified, we are finally in a place where we feel peaceful in our body, and our mind is still. This is the perfect state of mind and body for meditation practice.
When our mind and body is still, we can delve deep into meditation and in our inner worlds. As we delve deep within the meditation practice, our mind starts to open and expand. We feel much more deeply, and our thoughts are more focused and clearer.
Yoga focuses on the vital aspect of self-development the most. Yoga and meditation, when practiced together, increase self-awareness. When our full focus is one the movement of our body and breath, we start to feel our true selves more.
As we start to feel our true selves more, we begin to observe the functioning of our mind. As we spend more time with ourselves in the yoga and meditation practices, we start to know ourselves more. And deep down, that is what we all want, to understand our selves intimately and truly.
Lao Tzu, a great spiritual teacher, says “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” The great Indian spiritual master Sri Ramana Maharishi says “Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
Increases Emotional Intelligence
Practicing yoga and meditation together increases our emotional intelligence. We live in a world where we are in need of a deeper emotional intelligence that is sensitive enough the sense the truth of situations and strong enough to act on the knowledge.
As we get to know ourselves and move forward towards self-realization, we start to become more emotionally intelligent. A deeper emotional intelligence makes us better human begins; it helps us to be more patient and kinder with ourselves and others.
Trauma causes us to shut down. Meditation and yoga help us release deep-seated traumas, and as a result, we feel lighter and more open. As we feel more open-hearted and open-minded, naturally, we are smoother in the realm of emotional intelligence.
Amit Ray says “you can alter your emotions by changing your breathing patterns. Yoga breathing can release the untold stories inside you.” He further expands that “Compassion quotient (CQ) (which is emotional intelligence) is the ability of a person to feel and understand the pain of others and the ability to go out of the way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves.”
Social Interactions and Personal Relationships
As we practice yoga and meditation for the mind and body and deepen in our emotional intelligence, our social interactions and personal relationships start to improve. Where once we used to react angrily or inappropriately, we respond we awareness and compassion.
As we develop emotional intelligence, we start to look beyond ourselves. We begin to see and understand the needs of other people and are not only focused on ourselves. This emotional understanding leads to healthy personal relationships and social interactions.
Yoga and meditation for the mind and body, when practiced together creates miracles. The changes that occur in our life when we practice with dedication and sincerity are truly miraculous and magnificent.
“True yoga and meditation are about being fully present with everything that is including discomfort and challenges. It is not an escape from life.” ― Craig Hamilton