Yoga and meditation. Two words that are often that you probably hear all the time whenever you begin to look up mental health strategies. Why are they there? They do (I believe) contribute to a much better and positive life. It is not as easy as doing some yoga positions and holding them for a couple of minutes. It is all about trying to control the mind.
The part of the mind called the ‘subconscious mind’. I have been doing yoga and meditation for a couple of months now and have already seen results, especially in my mindset towards daily activities and my moods. In this article, I will be talking about yoga and meditation and how it has been impacting my day to day life. This is all based on my experience with doing both together, but also on some days just doing one or the other.
HOW HAS IT HELPED WITH MY STRESS MANAGEMENT?
I have also been the type to overthink. I was always the one to worry, where I became so worried that I would be so tense in my body that it would cause pain. I knew this was not healthy, since I was young I was always trying to search for ways that would make me not worry at all. Being a human, I knew that there was some sort of worrying that had to happen within my mind, but not as badly and as much to the point where it would cause myself bad and low moods every single day.
Our minds are so active and are constantly thinking, whether that would be dwelling on the past or panicking about what could happen in the future. I believed at a young age that yoga and meditation was just a form of exercise to just improve your balance and flexibility. Oh, how I was so naive! I wish I did more research when I was younger, as I would have been able to better my mental health, but I will not hassle/stress myself on ‘how I should of done the research’. See this is something I have learned. I have learned not to ‘beat myself up’ on my past, it is one of the best feelings not doing it anymore.
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DO I HAVE TO DO MEDITATION AND YOGA TOGETHER IN ORDER TO CHANGE MYSELF?
5 BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
- Controls Anxiety
- Lengthens attention span
- Improves self-awareness
- Increase mental Clarity
- Triggers the brain’s relaxation response
5 BENEFITS OF YOGA
- Increase muscle strength
- Increase flexibility
- Reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety
- Improves quality of life
- Could help improve breathing
So you might be thinking, do I have to do both together in order to change my life? It is entirely up to you. I can only give recommendations. For me personally, some days I can only fit in a meditation session, whereas some days I can fit in both. The Meditation sessions help you to get your breathing under control.
Yoga is the physical aspect of where you apply your breathing techniques to poses which may increase your strength, flexibility, balance or all of them together. It does take time and practice to learn both but in time it will come. To find meditation and yoga sessions simply just search them on YouTube or even download apps to your devices. Some apps cost money, some don’t but again that is your choice!
One of my favourite apps for meditation which is free on the app store is called ‘smilingmind‘. You can set reminders on the app to remind you to do some meditation practice at a time that is best for you. There are lots of different programmes on the app that you can follow.
HOW CAN YOU FEEL MORE ENERGISED AFTER DOING YOGA AND MEDITATION?
From my personal experience, I have found that doing meditation without yoga, laying on your back whilst listening to the speaker has made me feel a lot more energised. You may think that this is a little odd because you would think surely you’d fall asleep by that point.
Once you begin to learn about meditation and begin to do sessions, you might find that your mind will wander off and begin to think about other things rather than listening to what the speaker is saying. This is completely normal, our brain is a thinking machine. Over time, you will learn to control this a lot more and soon your focus in that current meditation session will just be on the speaker and rarely anything else.
Yoga, as I have said above, is more of the physical aspect. Whilst doing a yoga session, you will carry out some poses that might seem difficult at first. This is simply due to your body not being used to it. If you have injuries or anything medical I would suggest to check with your doctor before you perform any exercise, just in case.
Most yoga poses are there to ‘stretch’ those muscles and joints. Yoga lowers the heart rate and will allow for your body to calm down. Doing yoga can help, as it can allow you to respond to a negative situation in a more positive proactive way.