Yoga and meditation are both excellent exercises that provide you with significant benefits. People who practice both consider them ideal for achieving mental relaxation. Yoga and meditation have been around for some time but have grown more popular recently.
However, you should know that yoga and meditation aren’t precisely the same. There are distinct differences between them that separate the two. Yoga and meditation affect everyone, depending on how often one indulges in them. If you’re a beginner and want to know how different yoga is from meditation, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s begin exploring each difference that makes yoga different than meditation.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a spiritual exercise that helps connect their mind and body to the cosmic universe. The word “yoga” comes from ancient Sanskrit that loosely translates to “union.” The union connects the individual and the higher power that helps them achieve a balance.
Yoga is an exercise that combines mental, physical, and spiritual awareness, and successfully doing so results in significant benefits for the individual. Yoga also includes plenty of breathing exercises that can be done in various body postures – whichever suits the individual.
It’s essential to develop deep focus while doing yoga as you’ll be trying to achieve a union between yourself and the universe. If you successfully incorporate yoga into your lifestyle, you’ll look at many advantages as yoga is a holistic approach to living a peaceful life.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an exercise that aims to enhance one’s focus and concentration. Not many people know this, but meditation is considered a form of yoga. While yoga and meditation might be similar in specific ways, they still have stark differences that distinguish the two.
Meditation has become more prevalent as many people consider it the best morning ritual. At the same time, yoga is much more challenging, given the many poses and breathing exercises. Meditation has a much simpler process, as long as you’re able to concentrate fully during your meditation session.
The primary aim of meditation is to help one connect with themselves. It’s the perfect technique to make people more conscious and mindful of their surroundings, setting themselves free from any distracting thoughts. If you can focus on the present entirely and not let anything come in the way, you’ve completed your meditation successfully.
Yoga and Meditation: The Differences
If you’ve practiced doing both, you’ll find yoga and meditation quite contrasting. They may be exercises intended to help the mind and body, but they’re practiced differently. The primary purpose of both these exercises varies. Also, the body postures play a considerable role in differentiating the two.
Let’s explore the main differences between yoga and meditation.
As mentioned earlier, yoga and meditation have contrasting purposes. The former has more to do with helping people achieve mental and physical stability. When a person does yoga, they connect with the entire universe with their bodies stretched in a way that helps them achieve stamina. Yoga teaches one to achieve a perfect balance between their mental and physical state.
At the same time, meditation works much differently. Meditation simply focuses on the person’s state of mind. It has nothing to do with connecting to the universe’s cosmic powers and a lot to do with helping people explore themselves. Meditation is more of a concentration exercise that makes the person more self-aware about themselves and what’s going around them.
Level of Activity
While doing yoga, you’ll be in touch with your body movement a lot. Since yoga is all about mental and physical balance, your body posture plays a significant role in a successful yoga session. If you want to achieve mental and physical stamina, you’ll have to keep changing your body movement. Every form you involve yourself in will be a bit challenging. Hence, the level of activity in yoga is much more intense.
Contrastingly, that isn’t the case with meditation. Meditation is more about self-awareness, and there’s little to no body movement involved. All you have to do is maintain a single position throughout (you can change your position, but that isn’t necessary), and concentrate on your mind. It may take up plenty of your mental energy, but the physical activity isn’t much while you’re meditating.
If you want to do yoga rightly, you’ll have to master numerous body forms. Apart from that, many yoga positions aren’t recommended to perform on an empty stomach. This makes yoga an exercise that comes with its set of limitations. Yoga includes many breathing exercises, so someone with asthma isn’t advised to do yoga. Hence, yoga has several limitations that meditation doesn’t.
Meditation, on the other hand, is more flexible. It doesn’t have any limitations, except for meditating where it’s quiet. Since there aren’t many positions involved in meditating, there are no limitations on who can and cannot meditate. Anyone who’s looking to clear their mind is welcome to meditate. It’s advisable to meditate if you want to broaden your mental sharpness.
Mind and Body
The most significant difference between yoga and meditation is the effect it brings. Yoga helps to make people more physically flexible. Yoga is done in many positions, each having the body make a different shape. Once you get familiar with yoga and keep doing it frequently, you’ll notice a change in your body posture, which is a significant benefit of yoga. The more yoga you do, the better your body will become in flexibility.
Meditation doesn’t have much to do with body flexibility. It, in turn, works on your internal stability. When you meditate, your mind opens up and enters into a state of calm that’ll make you feel fresher than ever. It enhances your focus levels and helps you achieve peace from within. Meditation is advised to people who are constantly in a rush and need a break to catch their breath to get a sense of their life. Once you start meditating, you’ll realize you’ll be much calmer than you used to be.