Yoga is a way of life and when practiced gives all-round benefits. Meditation is a part of yoga, which deals with mental relaxation and concentration. Since the beginning, Yoga is a wisdom tradition whose core is meditation and spiritual development - not a system of stretches and breathing practices, as it is more accepted in the nowadays western world. Meditation helps to keep stability of mind which increased concentration power. It also can be used to increase awareness of ourselves and our surroundings. People use the practice to develop as well other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
1) reduces stress and anxiety;
2) enhances emotional health and self-awareness;
3) lengthens the attention span;
4) helps to fight addictions;
5) generates kindness;
6) improves sleep.
The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its benefits. It can be done anywhere and anytime, no equipment required, just the will to sit down and do it. Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and is the most popular meditation technique in the West. In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don't judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns. Meditation can be involved in a movement as well. Kundalini yoga is a physically active form of meditation that blends movements with deep breathing and mantras.
Some archaeologists date meditation back to as early as 5,000 BCE, according to 'Psychology Today', and the practice itself has religious ties in ancient Egypt and China, as well as Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and, of course, Buddhism. During this ancient time, meditation was a practice for religious people and wandering ascetics, who through it sought to transcend the limitations of human life. Most likely the first meditation technique to be discovered was either mantra meditation or gazing (open eye meditation).
There are different types of meditation, following various ways with the final goal to switch off the mind for certain amount of time. It is extremely powerful and important ability especially in this modern world where our senses are constantly bombarded with enormous quantity of information, of possibilities and options, which leads to overthinking. It can get so intense that very often our mind won't turn off even for sleep. Giving some rest and peace to our mind is necessary. Yoga in general, meditation in particular are ancient tools been used for centuries to help us achieve this state of balance and harmony with us.
Be mindful !
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