Difference Between Yoga and Meditation

Lots of people think Yoga and Meditation are the same. But, they’re not. Both Yoga and Meditation are practiced for entirely two different reasons and to attain different values. While Yoga and Meditation can occur at the same time, how we do it defines it all. Meditation can be said to be a part of yoga, but that doesn’t make them both same.

Yoga vs Meditation

The main difference between Yoga and Meditation is that Yoga is the holy unification of our souls with the divine spirit, it helps us to be energized, fit and strong throughout. Practicing Yoga Asanas can cure us of any physical ailments. While Meditation is the attaining of higher consciousness. It keeps our mind calm and peaceful and helps us be relaxed in any situations that might arise.

Yoga vs Meditation

The whole objective of yoga is to unite our soul with the divine spirit. Yoga involves a lot of vigorous physical training and can be hard. Yoga involves three parts: Asanas (meaning balancing postures), Pranayama (relaxed and systematic breathing), and Dhyana (meditation). So, like mentioned above, Meditation IS a part of Yoga and a very important one at that. Yoga exercises our mind, body, and spirit which helps us stay fresh and energized throughout the day.

While Yoga is for the unification of our soul and the divine spirit, Meditation is for reaching a higher state of consciousness. It exercises our mind which helps us to stay focused in all types of situations. Meditation keeps us relaxed, it rejuvenates us into being the better version of ourselves. The body should be completely still and relaxed while meditating. Usually, Meditation is done after Yoga, but we can do only Meditation, or only Yoga, or both.

Comparison Table Between Yoga and Meditation

Parameters of ComparisonYogaMeditation
DefinitionIt is a way to unite our souls to the divine spirits.It is a way to attain a higher level of consciousness.
BenefitsYoga helps us to be energized and also strengthens our body and mind. It helps cure different physical ailments and tone down or completely cure various diseases.Meditation keeps us peaceful and relaxed. It keeps our minds peaceful and healthy.
TypesAsana, Pranayama and DhyanaIt is a part of yoga.
Derived fromA Sanskrit word, “Yuj”, which means “to join”, “to yoke” or “to unite”.A Latin word, “Mediatum”, meaning “to concentrate” or “to ponder”.
Introduced bySwami VivekanandaMonk Guigo II

What is Yoga?

Yoga was first introduced by Swami Vivekananda in the late 1890s. It is derived from a Sanskrit word, “Yuj”, which means “to unite”. Yoga is the unification of our souls with the divine spirit. Yoga is literally one of the oldest physical disciplines in the world with it being over 5,000 years old. It originated from Northern India, where the Yoga culture was mentioned as a transcript in the ‘Rig Veda’. The whole purpose of practicing Yoga is for a harmonious mind, body, and environment.

Yoga has three types. Asana, Pranayama and Dhyana. Asanas mean a balanced posture. Asanas help us to keep our bodies fit, strong, and flexible. Doing Asanas benefits us a lot as it helps keep certain ailments like diabetes, asthma, etc, in check. Asanas have certain curative properties and are often recommended by physiotherapists. Pranayama means stable breathing. Breathing in and out periodically and calmly helps soothe our nerves and makes us calm. Dhyana means being still and full of concentration. It helps our mind to be stable and in one place.

There is a lot of change to the ancient techniques and the modern techniques. So, keeping all the views of modern men and women nowadays, the yoga principles were slightly altered, but not too much to avoid changing the basic meaning of Yoga completely. The five basic principles are being upright and flexible to do all the asanas correctly, breathing exercises, having a calm and clear mind, maintaining a balanced diet, and following them constantly.

What is Meditation?

Meditation was first introduced by Monk Guigo II, somewhere around 5000 BCE. It is derived from a Latin word, “Mediatum’, which means “To concentrate”. Meditation helps us to concentrate our minds on one particular situation. It basically means, to reach a higher consciousness. It was originated in India. The main goal of practicing Meditation is to have a focused and clear mind.

Meditation is a type of Yoga, it means being still and keeping the brain without any thoughts so one has to practice true concentration. It makes our minds calm, peaceful, relaxed, and neutral. Practicing Meditation keeps our minds healthy and pure. It relaxes us from the inside-out and makes changes our mood from sad or angry to happy and peaceful.

People suffering from stress, anxiety, and other mental burdens should surely practice Meditation to destress themselves and make their burdens and problems much easy to bear, because, with a clear and focused mind, anyone can think of solutions to their, initially, much harder problem. The most important thing to focus on while practicing Meditation is to clear the mind and to stay focused throughout.

Main Differences Between Yoga and Meditation

  1. Meditation is a part of Yoga but that doesn’t make Yoga a part of Meditation.
  2. Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word, “Yuj”, which means “to join” or ‘to unite”. Meditation is derived from a Latin word, “Mediatum”, meaning “to concentrate” or “to focus”. Both Yoga and Meditation originated in India.
  3. Yoga was introduced by Swami Vivekananda in the late 1890s. While Meditation is introduced by Monk Guigo II, around 5000 BCE.
  4. One’s body should be flexible enough to practice complex Yoga Asanas but there are no requirements to start doing Meditation.
  5. Yoga helps everyone to stay fresh, energized, and fit while Yoga helps our minds to stay calm and destressed in all situations.

Conclusion

Yoga is a divine practice that means to unite our souls to the divine spirit. It is introduced by Swami Vivekananda around the late 1890s. It is derived from a Sanskrit word,” Yuj” meaning “to yoke”. Yoga has three types. Asana, Pranayama and Dhyana. These three are the most important key parts of Yoga. Only after attempting all three parts perfectly, then only we can achieve a true meaning of life, of being. It keeps us in harmony with ourselves, others, and the environment. Certain Asanas require special care, in case if that person has any disabilities. Practicing complex Asanas without any special care and without attempting the basic Asanas once will have drastic effects and should never be tried.

Meditation was first introduced by Monk Guigo II somewhere around 5000 BCE and was originated in India. It is a part of Yoga (Dhyana). It is derived from a Latin word,’ Mediatum”, which means “to ponder”. It is a way of reaching a higher level of consciousness. It helps us stay concentrated and level-headed in tough situations. Practicing Meditation regularly keeps our minds sound and healthy. People suffering from stress, anxiety, or mental burdens should practice Meditation on the daily basis to help them destressed and peaceful.

Meditation is usually done after yoga but that needn’t always be the case. We can only practice Yoga or only practice Meditation or practice both Yoga and Meditation. It is always best to start slow and at the basics to avoid exhausting your limit. Know about a particular Asana, watch the steps carefully, then only attempt to do it, or the effects can be really drastic and sometimes even dangerous.

References

  1. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/39/12/884.short
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3482773/
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