The idea of sitting still for a fixed amount of time can seem fairly intimidating, even for yoga veterans. The popularity of meditation has not reached its peak as the physical practice of yoga asana (yoga poses) has. Meditation and yoga are actually supposed to be practiced simultaneously. The main goal of both meditation and yoga is to focus on the here and now. The separation of meditation and yoga may lead to one not receiving the full benefits of a practice. So many of the popular yoga practices, and even well versed yogis, don’t take enough time to simply be still and present.
The issue arises from our society’s emphasis on movement. We are constantly reinforced for multi-tasking, working harder, and just constantly being on the go. Even when it comes to health, the more you move, the better, right? What about balancing that movement with stillness? How can we balance our physical movement with mental stillness?
That is where meditation comes in. While stillness is unappreciated and undervalued, it is the one thing that can bring peace to our chaotic lives.
Meditation brings us many different benefits, both physical and mental.
Some of the physical benefits include:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces anxiety attacks
- Decreases tension-related pain
- Improves mood and behavior
- Improves the immune system
- Increases the energy level
Some of the mental benefits include:
- Decrease in anxiety
- Improves emotional stability
- Increases creativity and happiness
- Gain clarity/peace of mind
- Increases focus
To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. Just like yoga, it takes only a few minutes every day. It can and should be paired with an asana practice. Beginners to meditation, like yoga, should focus on the breath. While thoughts may enter the mind, visit them then let them go, refocusing on breathing. This will help you focus on the here and now rather than things in the past or future.So take a few minutes at your work desk or at home, in the morning or evening, and just be still.