Yoga vs Meditation: Difference and Comparison

Lots of people think Yoga and Meditation are the same. But they’re not. Both Yoga and Meditation are practised for two entirely 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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Yoga is a holistic practice integrating physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, while meditation is a mental practice focused on achieving inner peace and mindfulness.
  2. Practicing yoga can improve flexibility, strength, and balance, whereas meditation primarily enhances mental clarity, focus, and emotional well-being.
  3. Yoga involves a series of body movements and poses, while meditation requires a seated or lying position with minimal physical movement.

Yoga vs Meditation

Yoga is a physical and mental practice that originated in ancient India. It involves a series of postures, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques. Meditation is a mental practice that involves focusing your attention to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional calmness.

Yoga vs Meditation

The whole objective of yoga is to unite our souls 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, as 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 minds, 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, only Yoga, or both.

Comparison Table

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?

Swami Vivekananda first introduced yoga 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 one of the world’s oldest physical disciplines, with it being over 5,000 years old. It originated in Northern India, where the Yoga culture was mentioned as a transcript of the ‘Rig Veda’.

The whole purpose of practising 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 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.

yoga

What is Meditation?

Meditation was first introduced by Monk Guigo II somewhere around 5000 BCE.

It is derived from a Latin word, “Mediatum, ” meaning “To concentrate”. Meditation helps us to concentrate our minds on one particular situation.

It basically means to reach a higher consciousness. It originated in India. The main goal of practising Meditation is to have a focused and clear mind.

Meditation is a type of Yoga, and 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.

Practising 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 practice Meditation to destress themselves and make their burdens and problems much easier to bear because, with a clear and focused mind, anyone can think of solutions to their initially much harder problems.

The most important thing to focus on while practising Meditation is to clear the mind and to stay focused throughout.

meditation

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. Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga 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.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 06 14T075044.932
References
  1. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/39/12/884.short
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3482773/

Last Updated : 14 June, 2023

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