The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation – By Gary Sethi

There are many benefits to practicing yoga and meditation and the effect of most of them can be felt almost immediately. With the busy lifestyles we all lead, the fundamental need for silence, inner peace, and even a moment of reflection has become necessary.

Meditation is an element of yoga, which is concerned with mental relaxation and attentiveness. Here, awareness is focused on thoughts as well as breathing. Being conscious of breathing automatically organizes the thinking process and thus calms down mind entirely. Yoga involves numerous body postures targeting various parts of body and health benefits. A lot of diseases such as indigestion, constipation, obesity, fatigue to name a few can be cured by doing particular series of poses.  For many, meditation and yoga go hand in hand. Why? Because both practices involve a silent way of looking at resistance. In yoga, poses are used to help a person get into the body and relax. With meditation, a person is given an opportunity to work with the resistance.

Here’s some specific benefits of yoga and meditation.

Reduction of Stress

Yoga and meditation helps to reduce stress by teaching us to switch off from the worries that can plague us throughout the day. Both yoga and meditation provide an opportunity to spend time by ourselves, without feeling at the beck and call of others. Spending 15 minutes in doing various poses, quietening the mind and focusing on the present moment, makes us more relaxed and effective decision makers.

Health Benefits
There have been countless studies about the benefits of yoga and meditation. Many of these benefits are related to decreasing stress. For example, by practicing yoga and meditation  there is a direct link  that the probability of heart disease diminishes significantly.

However, this does not imply that by doing yoga and meditation there is a guarantee of good health. But, there is a growing awareness of the link between a person’s state of mind and physical health. Quite often physical ailments are symptoms of inner turmoil. Yoga and meditation can provide peace of mind, and this can be a helpful step in avoiding many stress related ailments. Both have also been shown to relieve the pain associated with certain illnesses.

Peace of Mind
Yoga and meditation take us to the source of happiness, which is to be found in our own peace of mind. If we have no peace of mind and are constantly attacked by negative thoughts, happiness remains elusive. If we can practice yoga and meditate with a still mind, we will discover an unexpected source of happiness within ourselves.

Harness Your Creativity
At times we spend our energy on the past and present and thus elude our natural   creativity. We may feel even feel like we are not creative, but, if we can learn to silence the mind, we realize that we have far more potential than we currently believe. To access this source of inspiration we just need to quiet the mind. Yoga and meditation helps us to live in the current moment, and thus can help us to unlock our creative potential.

Control Your Own Thoughts
How often do you find yourself victim to your own negative thoughts? Some people are even of the opinion that it is impossible to control your thoughts. However, the art of meditation and yoga teaches that, not only is it possible to control our thoughts, but, we can learn to stop them completely. Through yoga and meditation we can bring our unruly mind under control. This creates peace of mind and enables us to achieve what we want to.

Reduce Distraction & Irritation
When we live in the mind, it is easy to get distracted by small irritations. For example, maybe small things in life annoy us. The solution is not to avoid these minor irritations.  The only effective solution is to develop detachment and keep things in perspective. A powerful benefit of meditation and yoga is that we are able to detach ourselves from these insignificant, yet irritating thoughts.

Through a commitment to regular practice, the effects of your efforts  last longer and begin to change the way you feel every day. Consistency is the key. A 20-minute home practice done daily will reap more rewards than a 2 hour practice done once every two weeks. Create a schedule you can maintain, commit to it for three months, and then check in to notice the difference in how you feel. Still not a convinced, here’s a few other benefits you can expect with focused practice of yoga and meditation.

Body
Greater strength, flexibility, and balance
Increased circulation, energy, and vitality
Greater resistance to illness and the effects of stress

Mind
Increased clarity and focus
Greater sense of calm and ease
Increased mental and emotional steadiness

Spirit
Greater sense of connection
Increased confidence and well being
Greater enthusiasm for life

The benefits of yoga and meditation are real, but, also require perseverance. Don’t expect all these benefit to occur in the first few attempts, like anything in life both take practice. To appreciate the benefits of yoga and meditation it is essential to practice them yourself. As luck would have it, it is not sufficient to just read about it. Start your version of yoga and meditating today.

ABOUT GARY SETHI

South Asian Sardar Fitness Trailblazer, Gary Sethi is breaking stereotypes. His goal is simple – inspire every South Asian to be healthy and fit, while showcasing South Asian Sardars in a positive light. Within that goal, Gary works to address physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements of individual fitness programs. While his focus is primarily South Asians – Gary extends his reach to the masses by working one on one with individuals to attain first hand, practical experience about fitness, and what it takes to follow a healthy lifestyle. He strives to maintain the highest standards in developing new and innovative ways to enhance and maintain physical fitness. For more information on Gary Sethi visit www.garysethi.ca