Hinduism

Yoga and Meditation


Introduction

Yoga and meditation are inter-connected. The purpose of yoga is not just physical exercise. If yoga is performed properly, it can lead further to meditation. This article reveals the close link between

yoga and meditation.

What is Yoga?

Ashtanga yoga consists of a eight-fold path that starts with body discipline and moves further to the mind. Thus, yoga is a pure science just like chemistry, physics or mathematics. Belief is not required, as yoga has made religion a science in itself. Yoga is not a religion or a philosophy. Nor, is it about thinking. Thinking is just a part of your being. It goes on in the head. But, your heart is deeper than your head. You cannot live without your heart.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is also a pure science. Physics cannot be categorized into Christian and Buddhist physics. If Christians discover the laws of physics, then those laws cannot be called Christian physics. In the same way, meditation is also secular. It cannot be called Hindu meditation, just because a few Hindus happened to discover it. Therefore, anybody can be a yogi, be it a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Jain.

Link Between Yoga and Meditation

Yoga promotes harmony and centering. Unless your are centered, all your deeds would be useless, a mere waste of time and life. Meditation transforms and teaches us how to live harmoniously. Harmony creates silence and bliss. When the discordant fragments become one, you will become blissful. Yoga and meditation teach us how to live in the present. They open our eyes to existing reality, without any coloring.

Real Purpose of Yoga

Today, yoga has become commercialized and a mere tool to attain bodily fitness and health. When yoga is performed with awareness, it becomes meditation. To understand yoga properly, one needs to move to higher limbs after pranayama and asana. Therefore, pratyahara (sense withdrawal) and dhyana (meditation) should be our natural goals after mastering pranayama and asana.

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