Meditation

Yoga and meditation are inseparably linked. In fact, all forms of yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion; focusing on each breath and the movement into each pose (asana) focuses and quiets the mind from whatever is going on outside. In fact, for those who struggle with meditation on its own, yoga has the profound effect of being able to help you get into a meditative state. Once you are meditating, your mind and body enjoy a wide variety of benefits.

The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

Meditation achieved during yoga has been scientifically proven to actually change the structure and shape of the brain in positive ways:

  • Improved focus and attention—Researchers discovered that people struggling with attention disorders were able to better focus on the topic at hand without giving in to distractions as easily.

  • Stress and anxiety reduction—Yoga and meditation are able to help stressed and anxious yogis quiet the constant din of negative thoughts by changing the way the brain reacts to them. Yogic meditation helped participants in several studies process negative emotions more positively and constructively without getting bogged down and stuck by them.

  • Other studies show improvements in self-confidence and relationships by boosting the emotions of acceptance and compassion.

Yoga and meditation have a long list of positive impacts on the body as well:

  • Yoga and meditation together improve blood circulation while slowing the heart rate at the same time, leading to a decrease in blood pressure.

  • Yoga practice improves flexibility, balance and stability, particularly in the core. At the same time, the meditation that comes along with it improves spatial awareness. This can help people achieve improved posture and reduce the chances of injury from lack of mindfulness while moving around.

  • Yoga and meditation also alleviate chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies while improving breathing and oxygen flow through the body.

  • People who practice yoga report pain relief from tight, sore muscles, arthritis and many other musculoskeletal aches and pains.

  • Yoga and meditation also demonstrate a positive impact on the immune system on two fronts: boosting the body's killer cells while also blunting the infection powers of bacteria and viruses.

Yoga and meditation strengthen the mind/body connection in very tangible, positive ways that improve overall health. Talk with your yoga instructor about ways to deepen the meditative side of your yoga practice to enjoy all of its benefits.

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Yoga By Robin

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