Yoga makes you better at meditation because it creates a relaxed body that is conducive to a relaxed mind. Meditation in turn, makes us better at yoga. Let’s take a look.

How meditation makes us better at yoga

Meditation Helps Us Focus On Asanas

When we’re practicing yoga, we are, of course, exercising the body. But we ought to be exercising the mind at the same time. Every time we place the body in an asana (pose), we should be focusing on that pose. By focusing the mind on the body while in a pose, we experience the asana in full. Yoga asanas offer many mental health benefits, but in order to glean those benefits, we have to actually focus on what we are doing. Sadly, many people don’t leave their thoughts and distractions at the yoga studio door. And so they are not able to focus on the yoga. Meditation is well known to improve focus and concentration. And because of this, it makes it easier to focus the mind on the body when we enter a yoga pose. The result is complete mind-body immersion in the asana.

Meditation Lowers Oxygen Consumption

One of the lesser-known benefits of meditation is that it changes the way the body uses oxygen. Scientific research shows that meditation lowers oxygen consumption rate by 10%. This means that we are more able to control the breath during and after meditation. This is a game-changer for anyone who gets short of breath when practicing yoga. If that’s you, try meditating before doing yoga, and during your yoga session, take a few moments here and there to practice mindful breathing. This will help regulate the breath. Not only does this help us practice yoga for longer, it also gives us more control of pranayama. 

Get Too Sweaty Doing Hot Yoga? Meditation Will Help

Anyone who practices Hot Yoga knows what it’s like to sweat a little too much. But meditation can change that. We get sweaty when our body temperature rises. But meditation reduces heart rate and blood pressure, and this cools down the body and thereby reduces sweating. So if you’re worried you might be a little hot, sweaty and, yes, smelly when you’re doing hot yoga, try meditating.

Meditation Improves Balance 

Feel a little wobbly in Warrior III? Meditation will change that, at least according to one scientific study. Ying Kee, PhD, and his colleagues at the Nanyang Technological University’s National Institute of Education took 32 men and split them into two groups. Kee made both groups stand on one leg while holding a basin of water.   While they were doing this, Kee asked one group to be mindful of their hands, while the other group were allowed to think of anything they liked. Kee then tested the balance of members of both groups.The results showed that being mindful of the body increases balance, where thinking about something other than what we’re doing will actually lower our balance. So, if you want to stay in an asana for longer, be mindful of your body while you’re in the pose.

By practicing meditation not only do we embrace more of the yogic lifestyle, we also prepare the mind for success not only in the yoga studio, but off the mat. If you’ve been doing the physical side of yoga without practicing meditation, perhaps it’s time for that to change.