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YOGA vs MEDITATION: A COMAPRISON

Yoga
Yoga

Nearly five thousand years ago, Yoga began in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization around India. The Rigveda, composed between 3000 and 3500 years ago, is the oldest known text to mention Yoga, describing it as achieving transcendence through regulating thoughts and emotions. A more structured form of Yoga developed at a later period.

One of the significant yogic texts available is the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, compiled around the second century BCE. Patanjali’s 196 sutras cover various aspects of yoga practice, including ethical principles, physical postures, breath control, sensory discontinuation, concentration, meditation, and the state of samadhi. The Yog spiritual science comprises two fundamental tenets: awareness and meditation. The only difference is that meditation does not necessarily require movement, whereas Yoga consists of both. The essence of Yoga is balancing the movements of the body and mind with an awakened soul.

Meditation is not holistic; it is a component of Yoga. Further, it may also lead toward ego inflation to a false sense of security, where you boast more about the subject than practice the same mindfully. Unless all three aspects of the human self – body, mind and soul are involved, results can be discriminatory. Thus, in pursuing holistic well-being, Yoga and meditation emerge as popular practices together.

Hence, Yoga is holistic, whereas meditation primarily deals with quieting the mind. While interconnected and sharing common goals of enhancing mental and physical health, they are distinct disciplines with specific approaches and benefits. This article dwells on the differences, benefits, and potential integration of Yoga and meditation, providing insights into how each can contribute to a balanced lifestyle.

Yoga, rooted in ancient Indian tradition, is a comprehensive practice that integrates physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana). The term “yoga” means “union,” reflecting its goal of uniting the mind, body, and soul. Practising yoga postures before meditation can help prepare the body and mind for more profound meditation. The physical activity releases tension, enhances circulation, and brings a sense of calm, making it easier to focus during meditation. Furthermore, creating a structured routine with dedicated time for yogic exercises and meditation ensures a balanced physical and mental well-being.

Yoga and meditation, while distinct, provide a comprehensive approach to holistic health. Yoga’s physical postures and breath control prepare the body and mind for the stillness and focus required in meditation. By understanding and integrating these practices, individuals can achieve a balanced state of physical vitality and mental tranquillity, enhancing overall quality of life. The key lies in consistency and mindfulness, allowing the transformative effects to unfold over time.

Yoga primarily nurtures self-awareness by focusing on the mind, which is critical in distinguishing reality. While the mind presents challenges and stress, overcoming it is crucial. Achieving mastery over thoughts is possible through self-awareness. Mind control does not stop thinking but involves using thoughts effectively, and this is made possible through introspection, watching the body and mind unquestioningly in non-interference. Our comprehension of the mind is limited to the conscious mind, active during wakefulness in emotional desires. It represents only a fragment of the overall mind. Attempting to influence consciousness is fruitless. We also need to know how to invoke the soul’s potential by entering the sphere of spontaneous intuitiveness, where the mind operates beyond the thinking or cognitive state.

Recognizing the constraints of the conscious mind is vital for present living. Delving into the mind’s mechanisms is intriguing, with the objective mind utilizing primarily the senses for cognition. Dwelling in the past or future thoughts, which the mind habituates, obstructs authentic living. Grasping the conscious mind is essential for embracing the present moment.

Exploring beyond the conscious mind and senses is imperative to teach the mind how to go beyond sensory wants into clarity, contentment, calmness and clairvoyance. Delving into the unconscious mind where no thoughts prevail, awakening the soul to check and guide the monkey mind is crucial for self-discovery. Yoga is a compact solution to realizing life’s purpose, encompassing a superconscious state experiencing total awareness in all states of mind. The only facet left out in Yoga is the concept of Advaita Vedanta. Rishi Vasishta philosophically conjoined the two in the prehistoric scriptures described as Yog Vasishta, which Quantum Physics has now expounded and computed.

 

Yoga

The core of consciousness makes the mind alive; awareness is pivotal. Consciousness is distinct from the mind, which acts as a versatile tool—understanding how the mind functions and its energy source is essential. Consciousness drives all mental activities, with the mind as a conduit. Your soul surpasses the mind, serving as the centre of awareness. The soul fuels thinking, listening, understanding, and judgment.

When you closely examine your life, you will notice the same repetitive patterns, functioning solely through the mind involving used data. The past is stored in your limited mind; it no longer exists. Without an active mind, would your past exist? Only the present does. Reality is only the present, but the past persists in our minds. By transcending the mind, you go beyond karmic bondage. Past thoughts projecting into the future in emotional desires is a mental trap. Yet you treat the past as a reality, which is an illusion. The mind is the root of this. By transcending the mind, you overcome everything at once.

The core effort of spiritual practices has always been to transcend the cognitive mind and view life beyond the mind’s limitations. Yoga aims for the individual soul to intuitively unite with the universal soul in a state known as samadhi. Yoga’s focus is not on the existence of God but on self-discovery to realize there is no self, only the non-dual spiritually aware energy, going through an illusionary play of human experiences of dualities in pleasure and pain or happiness and sadness. If one exists in the mind, the other is bound to follow and emerge.

Yog is that state of absoluteness which takes you to the superconscious section of the mind where you are neither affected by imagination nor thoughts. You go beyond your mind’s modifications, teaching you how to maintain a balance in life with awareness into actions without attaching to the results. Not bothering about pain or misery, accepting every situation with grace and respect liberates your body and mind through spiritual knowledge, where tranquillity and serenity are sublime. Yoga is performed through the superconscious section of the soul, moulding one’s attitude with a higher understanding of body, mind, soul, and spirit, teaching the spiritualization of life and how to transcend the cognitive mind.

Therefore, integrating both practices can provide the most comprehensive benefits if you want a holistic approach. Yoga can prepare your body and mind for meditation, and meditation can enhance the mental and emotional benefits of Yoga. Many people find that practising both leads to a balanced and fulfilling routine. Whether Yoga is better than meditation depends on your individual goals. Engaging Yoga and meditation into your routine can be highly effective for a holistic approach to overall health. Ultimately, the best practice is the one that resonates most with you and fits into your lifestyle consistently.

NAMASTE

Yoga

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