Yoga and meditation are both great activities for bringing your mind and body into harmony.
Yoga and meditation can be practiced separately or together, although in order to fully get the benefits of a yoga practice, you'd technically be meditating while you're centered on your yoga breathing.
Benefiting the Mind and Body
The mind and body are often seen as separate entities, but they're definitely intertwined. It's impossible to separate the functions of one from the other.
For example, if you've ever been anxious or nervous, you know how that feels in your mind. Your thoughts race and you might even feel irrational. At the same time, the nervousness has a profound effect on your body. Your heart pumps blood faster and your muscles tighten.
Yoga and meditation allow you to get centered on your breath so you can breathe deeply and relax, helping both body and mind. Both practices require some "work" in order to reap the benefits. However, when you stick with it and make the practices a part of your everyday routine, you'll enjoy the serenity of a balanced mind and body.
More About Yoga
Yoga is an ancient practice where you assume certain postures while you concentrate and relax. Yoga helps you gain flexibility as well as clarity in your thinking. When you practice yoga consistently, you may even find that you bounce back after illness and injuries because your mind and body are in such a healthy state.
If you've never tried yoga before, you may want to attend a local beginner's class or get a yoga DVD. For best results, start slow and ease your way into a practice. Remember that yoga is mostly about your breathing and state of mind. With concentration, the yoga postures will be easier for you to get into and then maintain.
More About Meditation
Meditation doesn't focus as much on the body, but it's still important to maintain good posture whether you're practicing sitting or walking meditation. Your main focus with meditation is again on the breath, but more specifically on the present moment.
When starting a meditative practice, you'll first want to find a time and place where you know you won't be distracted. The time period immediately upon waking or before you go to bed usually works well.
It's best to start by sitting in an upright posture with your shoulders back. This will ensure that your chest is out and in a good position for deep breathing. Focus on your breath and brush away stray thoughts that cloud your thinking. This relaxation can prepare your body for deeper meditation as well.
Tips To Deepen Your Practice
Once you've begun yoga and meditation practices, you can continue to deepen them by practicing every day. Persistence pays off, especially in the beginning while you're still forming this healthy habit.
When you practice yoga and meditation consistently, you'll feel the harmony forming between your mind and body. You'll also look forward to your daily relaxation session that makes you feel so good! In the end, you'll wonder how you could have ever waited so long to give them a try.