Meditation and Yoga: The Connection

Yoga, when broken down to Yuj means to bring together. In yoga we are bringing the body back to the breath. When researching the history of yoga we find the many fathers and pioneers from different schools of  thought.We find that each school of thought is reaching a similar goal; ultimate peace. With yoga we can find it dates back over 10,000 years. More interestingly enough we will find that meditation was the first depiction of yoga. When practicing yoga we find ourselves focusing on our breathe from the beginning of class to the end. We use the breathe to heat, energize,and cool the body. In focusing on our breathe yoga becomes meditative and relaxing no matter the style or pace. Surrendering to our breath allowing it to carries our movement; it is then yoga and meditation is connected. Yoga is often referred to meditation in motion. We each have our own yoga preferences and experiences. Some of us do yoga for spiritual purposes and some for the workout. The fact of the matter is we are meditating whether we realize it or not. The same applies to yoga; we are doing yoga daily. When we are being mindful our thoughts as well as actions we are doing yoga. Taking the time to consciously remind ourselves to breathe we are doing yoga and meditation.

The art of yoga and meditation is rooted in stillness. When our lives feel chaotic we must challenge ourselves to remain committed to that moment and breath through it. However, we find a way to retreat so we do not have to deal with the choatic uncomfortable situation. In yoga poses become more challenging, we being to shake, it becomes uncomfortable, and we want it to be over so we come out of it. When things get hard that is when yoga kicks in. We then remember to breath and find that solid foundation we started with. In meditation being still is the hardest thing to do. We want to fidget, open our eyes, look around, and our thoughts become scattered. Some call this having monkey mind. Monkey mind is when our thoughts are all over the place and we can not focus on just one single thing.  It is as though your mind is filled with drunken monkeys all making noise for attention; the loudest of them all is fear. Meditation initially may seem impossible because we are afraid of carving out time for ourselves. We are afraid we may not have enough time or that someone may see this as being selfish with our time. Often times it is the fear of silence; it is the loudest when your thoughts begin to roll in. In meditation we have the challenge of facing those thoughts without feeding them energy with our emotions. The moment a thought triggers an emotional reaction we are stuck in that moment for what may seem a lifetime. Allowing each thought to flow freely pass us gives us the capacity to let go, forgive, and be lighter.

Even though yoga and meditation challenge us on different levels one of the connections between the two are reactions. When practicing yoga and meditation we are training the mind and body to be less reactionary to our thoughts. Each thought we have triggers an emotion in turn triggering a reaction. In practicing stillness and fluidity we learn to think before we react as well as flow with the currents of life; becoming more observant of mind, body, and soul rather than reactionary. There are a few yoga poses that cause us to deepen the breath.

Pigeon Pose, a hip opener that provokes thought. We are promoted to rest in this posture for quiet some time to allow our hips to open and breathe through the process. Our hips carry the issues and trash we thought we let go of. Here is where what if’s and why not reside. In this moment it’s very enticing to interact with those thoughts rather than breath through them. Deepening the breathe and sinking deeper on the exhales makes way for a deeper posture.

Svansana, a yoga pose that focus on breathe solely. This is the most important yoga pose of yoga; at least that’s what the people say. Right? Along with “Can we smile to lessen the tension in the face?”. In svansana we are laying down, hands gentle resting by our sides, palms facing upward to the heavens, and our eyes are closed. We are breathing; mentally scanning our bodies to feel and observe every tingling sensation. What do we do? We experience the sensations we connect with them. In this we allow our body to feel and our mind to interpret the sensations without any reaction physically. Here thoughts come up as well. We allow ourselves to be the observer of the thoughts. Our breathe acts as a filter releasing each thought back into the universe

When things get intense such as hip openers or uncomfortable like silence and stillness it is our first thought to move around and/or entertain the thoughts in our mind. Through yoga and meditation we learn to not take every thought and situation seriously. Honor the time you carve out for self no matter how big or small. Just drop and yoga. Namaste.

 

Peace and Blessing,

My thoughts my views, share with me, vibe with me,

-Rose

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