Yoga & Meditation – Is there a difference?

Many international yoga journals have claimed that you don’t need to meditate in order to practice Hatha Yoga. Nor is the practice of Hatha Yoga mandatory in order to meditate. They claim that the two practices support each other but are mutually exclusive. Yet this idea goes fundamentally against what Yoga is.

What is Yoga?

Yoga comes from the root word Yug which means “to join”. The philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body and bio-energy are all one and cannot be separated. The purpose of yoga is to strengthen your awareness of this unity.

The gift of Yoga is that awareness of this unity of mind, body and energy, enables you to act effectively, purposefully yet effortlessly.

The practice of yoga enables mind and body to work as one unit that is continuously aware of and responding to the surrounding environment. Yoga is a combination of asana (posture), pranayama (breath and energy flow) and dhyana (concentration or meditation). Yoga is therefore meditation.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is mind training. To reiterate, the yoga tradition is designed to reveal the interconnectedness of every living thing. This fundamental unity is referred to as advaita or oneness. Meditation is the actual experience of this union.

What do Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras’ tell us about Yoga & Meditation?

Patanjali in his second verse of the first chapter states that yoga (or union) happens when the mind becomes quiet. He goes on to say that this mental stillness is created by bringing the body, mind, and senses into balance. Note here – Patanjali claims that yoga only happens when the mind is still. Yoga only happens when the meditation is present. In fact this idea is inherent in the entire corpus of Yoga literature.

You are NOT practicing Yoga if there is No Meditation.

Yoga only happens when the awareness of body and breath leads to mindful stillness.

I-Yoga and I-MediTate classes use the scientific study off interoceptive awareness to enable you to experience the meditative state of yoga quickly and effectively. The classes also introduce you to a variety of different meditation techniques so you may discover the one that works best for you. 

View Our Upcoming Classes and Workshops.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

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