Yoga is now widely associated with workout classes, athleisure and brunch, but few appreciate the practice’s mindful roots. In fact, yoga meditation is an age-old mindfulness exercise that later spun off into its modern counterpart. Today’s mindful monday piece will thus help you learn about the basics of yoga meditation, its benefits and how it works.
Wait… there’s a difference?
Many of us have a misconception that yoga and meditation are the same practice. However, that’s far from the truth! Meditation is a mindfulness exercise that involves focusing on the present. Yoga, on the other hand, functions more similarly to movement meditation in the sense that you find peace and focus through movement. Yoga meditation, ultimately, combines both these practices to enhance your mindfulness experience.
Benefits of yoga meditation
There are plenty of scientific explanations that back the benefits of meditation. Yoga meditation is no exception. This practice promotes relaxation and a calmer state of mind, thus improving your mental wellbeing. It’s a great stress-reliever which in turn boosts your mood, confidence and morale. Additionally, this emotional improvement leads to physical benefits in the long-term. Yoga meditation alleviates conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Lastly, this exercise teaches important life skills that help you hone your focus and discipline.
How yoga meditation works
Yoga meditation often incorporates techniques from movement exercise and standard mindfulness meditation. If you’re a beginner, try practising mindful meditation first. This means finding a quiet, peaceful spot. Next, focus your attention on an object, sense or space. Following this, listen to your thoughts objectively and then quieten your chattering mind. It’s completely natural to find this difficult and have your thoughts wander. After all, practice makes perfect! Set aside 5 minutes of your day to practice mindful meditation before jumping straight into yoga meditation.
Now that you’re comfortable with mindful meditation, you may start expanding into the world of yoga meditation. Choose your favourite yoga poses or techniques from a Youtube video, in-person class or online article. While holding the pose, focus on your breathing the same way you focused on an object, sense or space in mindful meditation. Follow the practice of hearing your thoughts and de-cluttering them. Rinse and repeat this process for each pose.
3 tips to become better at meditation
Having a little trouble? Don’t fret! Use these 3 tips as a basis to improve your meditation technique.
- Create a meditation space. Meditation hinges on your ability to stay focused, which may be tough for newbies. Check out our guide to creating a meditation space for the best possible meditation experience.
- Get a helping hand. Learning how to meditate is like learning a new skill. It’s a tricky, long-term process so use whatever help you may get! This could mean finding a meditation buddy for support, or using unobtrusive mindfulness tools like a Timeqube to hone your skills.
- Be kind to yourself. Learn from your mistakes and remember that practice makes perfect!