Yoga Meditation Benefits

The regular practice of yoga meditation benefits your entire body physically, mentally, spiritually. Yoga meditation can enhance your overall health, fitness and well being. Yoga and meditation together bring a sense of inner peace and being centered within both your body and your spirit, thereby preserving your emotional balance despite what life often tends to throw at you.

Our modern society places an inordinate amount of pressure on many of us. Western society demands that we perform our roles at a very high level

yoga meditation benefits

Yoga meditation benefits mind, body and spirit and unifies them as one. Photo by Shannon Keegan c/o Photos.Com.

despite the costs of psychological uncertainty and physical tension that frequently result. Biologically, human beings were never designed to endure a constant state of “fight or flight”. In nature, the crisis was usually resolved quickly and it was back to the cave for some chow. Modern society conditions us to experience a low grade fight or flight constantly, perhaps punctuated by the odd real crisis thrown in for good measure.

Yoga is often practiced by itself by many who engage in it strictly as a form of exercise. In fact, yoga and meditation were always thought of as synonymous with one another until only recently. Yoga was conceived to prepare the body for lengthy meditation. They were always meant to be together. That said, those who practice yoga today strictly as a form of exercise soon begin to realize the many non-physical benefits that effect them in many positive ways. Benefits such as greatly reduced stress, improved clarity of thought and better concentration, developing an ability to detach oneself from emotionally stressful life situations, having more and better creativity, and realizing an even greater ability to experience happiness. Some dedicated practitioners even go so far as to discover their true purpose in life. Now that’s quite a lot of good for just going to an exercise class a few times a week.

Simply put, doing yoga alone regularly will lead you up to a partially opened door to let you peek inside and witness a peaceful and beautiful room. This is where the added benefits of meditation are found. Just a few steps further and you have easily entered this calm space by practicing meditation as a part of your yoga. Meditation done together with yoga “unifies” the mental, physical and spiritual transformations that occur over time with regular and consistent practice. Different types of yoga emphasize different facets of the mind/body duality, with some placing more emphasis on the physical body and other styles of yoga incorporating elements that place their emphasis on the mental and spiritual aspects.

Many start yoga to either pursue fitness goals or to relieve stress. There are numerous yoga meditation relaxation strategies available for beginning students of yoga. Jane May at Project-Meditation.org writes about some of the direct and indirect benefits to our bodies and our minds through the practice of yoga meditation.

The benefits of yoga meditation relaxation classes are being enjoyed by people worldwide. If you are considering starting yoga or

yoga meditation relaxation techniques

Yoga meditation relaxation techniques benefit both mind and body. Photo by Polka Dot Images c/o Photos.Com.

meditation, you should be aware that the benefits of yoga meditation relaxation are numerous and worth taking the time to learn. Both yoga and meditation are great ways to increase your total health and mental well being and most of these techniques can be done in your own home for both comfort and privacy. If you have not yet decided to take advantage of the benefits of yoga meditation relaxation, read on to find out what you are missing.

One of the benefits of yoga meditation relaxation is that you can increase the total flexibility of your body. The positions that are held during yoga and the meditation techniques that you use can help you to relax and achieve better flexibility than you have ever enjoyed in your life. Even those little used joints will be benefited and you will find that your entire body will move more easily and efficiently.

Read Jane’s original article here at project-meditation.org:

Yoga was intended to prepare the body for long periods of demanding meditation. As such, the practice of yoga benefits fitness by increasing the physical stamina of the body. This in turn enhances the body’s ability to become a more suitable vessel for the meditating mind and expanding spirit.

There are many direct yoga health benefits that are increasingly documented in the medical and scientific literature. They originate equally from doing yoga asanas (poses) regularly and from practicing meditation consistently. The Mayo Clinic has published recommendations around its endorsement of yoga meditation as a means of maintaining improved health and decreasing the damaging effects of the stress in our lives.

Your kids are demanding the latest video game, your boss wants that report done yesterday, and your partner wants to know what’s for dinner. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to make like a cobra or a mountain and try yoga.

yoga meditation techniques

Yoga meditation techniques enhance flexibility of both mind and body. Photo by Dmytro Konstantynov c/o Photos.Com.

Understanding Yoga:

Yoga’s series of postures — some with names from nature — and controlled breathing exercises are a popular means of stress management and relaxation. Today, yoga classes teaching the art of breathing, meditation and posing are offered nearly everywhere — from trendy health clubs in big cities to community education classes in small towns to hospitals and clinics. If you’re looking for more do-it-yourself techniques for stress reduction, see how to get started with yoga.

Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety. Traditional yoga philosophy requires that students adhere to this mission through behavior, diet and meditation. But if you’re just looking for better stress management — whether because of life’s daily hassles or a health problem you’re facing — and not an entire lifestyle change or way of life, yoga can still help.

Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and some beginners find it easier to practice because of its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.

The core components of hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:

  • Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.
  • Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.

Read the entire article here at mayoclinic.com:

Regular yoga practice increases flexibility of joints and connective tissues by re-hydrating and stretching them. It lubricates the joints and sustains their full range of motion. Muscles are stretched and as a result actually increase in mass and improve their ability to use oxygen efficiently. All of the organs of the body, including the glandular and endocrine organs, are massaged and guided back to functioning normally.

The cardiovascular system and the respiratory system are worked together gently, or more vigorously, depending on the style of yoga you choose to practice. Proper yoga breathing techniques help to deliver more oxygen to the muscles, organs and especially to the brain. This also trains the circulatory system to work as efficiently as possible using the least amount of energy. Since this is so important, yoga meditation techniques always focus on the breath and breathing. These also help us to center our thoughts and focus in preparation for meditation. While there are many yoga breathing techniques,  good instruction and proper practice make all the difference. Here is an excellent video demonstrating yoga practice in preparation for meditation performed by Anmol Mehta.

 

The proper practice of breathing also benefits the central nervous system and brain, which receive more oxygen and blood flow. This in turn stimulates the production of beneficial factors promoting better neuron connections and brain functioning. Yoga also suppresses the production of stress hormones that are harmful to the brain over long periods of time. Given that yoga is preparation for lengthy meditation, getting the brain in top working order is the greatest priority.

Some whole body benefits of yoga also include an increased efficiency of metabolism. Yoga was used as preparation for long periods of meditation in centuries past, and yogis would frequently go for days without eating. What better way to get the body ready for something this strenuous than a regimen that would train it to do more with less.

Meditation practiced together with yoga lets you achieve a sense of peace and an emotional inner balance. This is arrived at by learning to detach yourself emotionally from events occurring all around you. Attaining this level of peace and calm greatly improves the health of your body as a result. Physician, blogger and endurance athlete Dr. Peggy Malone has written about the overall health and spiritual benefits of regular yoga meditation practice.

On this week’s episode of my television show ‘Living Well’, we discussed the health benefits of yoga and meditation.  Many people hear the word ‘Yoga’ and they assume that in order to try it, they have to be able to tie themselves into knots or be super flexible.

yoga meditation techniques

Yoga meditation techniques focus the mind, body and spirit. Photo by Jupiterimages c/o Photos.Com.

Similarly, when people hear the word ‘Meditation’, they think about monks living in a cave who spend all day in a meditative state.

My guest on this episode was local yogi Tricia Herbert. She has been practicing yoga for 8 years and teaching yoga for 4 years.

She is a registered yoga teacher (RYT) and eRYT (experienced yoga teacher).  She has 200 hours of class room training and an additional 300 hours of training for the eRYT.  She specialized in therapeutic yoga instruction during those additional 300 hrs. Her training included anatomy, in-class instruction, history of yoga, the business of yoga, hands-on modifications, etc.

Tricia has taught and practiced several different types of yoga including prenatal yoga, gentle yoga, flow yoga and hot yoga (also known as Moksha or Bikram yoga).

When I brought to her attention that many people assume that they have to be very physically flexible to do yoga she pointed out that yoga is something that is much more than just the physical asana (which is the physical yoga class that we all think about or participate in)

According to Wikipedia, Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline originating in ancient India whose goal is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.

The word yoga is associated with meditative practices in various eastern cultures.

Read the complete article here at drpeggymalone.com:

While meditation provides for inner peace and balance, other yoga meditation benefits include regaining control over your own thoughts. Some would call it quieting the “monkey mind”. Silencing the chatter and all of the potentially negative self talk has powerful and positive benefits for our psychology and for the direction of our lives. Controlling and directing our thoughts positively is a necessary element to taking back control and consciously guiding our lives in the direction we choose.

Meditation practiced through yoga also improves our concentration and focus. These are tremendously powerful as they allow us to do more with far less effort. Directing our mental awareness where we need it is like a laser beam cutting through steel. Most people have a diffuse concentration that only intermittently gains the correct amount of focus for sustained tasks. Those who practice regular meditation can sustain their focus and direct it to where they need it to accomplish more for themselves and others.

Ultimately, meditation practiced through yoga can lead us to discovering our path, which equates to our purpose in life. That’s a question we all are somehow searching for the answer to. Why am I here? What is my purpose? What am I meant to do? While most seek the answers to these questions from outside themselves, yoga meditation teaches us to develop an ear to listen for that still small voice that’s inside each of us but is not easily heard. That still small voice is always telling us what it is we should know, but is drowned out by the loud voice all around us. Silencing the noise outside and getting more comfortable with the quiet stillness inside of us is how yoga meditation benefits our spiritual natures.