The Life Changing Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Many people believe that yoga and meditation go hand in hand and they both have been around for thousands of years, though they didn’t take root in the United States until recent years. It is said that yoga and meditation can benefit the mind, body, and spirit, and has many health benefits as well. Practicing yoga is said to improve your endurance, balance, flexibility, and strength. Meditation is said to help keep your mind sharp, is said to be able to strengthen your immune system, and has been known to reduce anxiety and stress. Together, this makes yoga and meditation a powerful combination to increase your mental, emotional, and physical health. With so many people taking advantage of the benefits yoga and meditation bring, it’s time to create a blog on the life-changing the benefit of yoga and meditation. Of course, in our blog, we will go a little further and go into not only the benefits of both but the disadvantages of both and even a few myths as well that need to be gotten out of the way.
So, grab your yoga mat and a cup of herbal tea, then join us on our journey into the life-changing benefits of yoga and meditation. Ready? Okay! Then, let’s get started!
Top Benefits of Yoga Revealed
The first thing we will do is go into the benefits of yoga and then drift into the benefits of meditation in the next section. It is a good idea to combine the two, but nice to list the benefits separately as well.
Helps with Back Pain
Believe it or not, it is said that doing yoga a few times a week can actually help to reduce chronic back pain. Studies have shown that after one week of yoga, many chronic sufferers have reported improved spinal flexibility and eased the pain in their lower backs. This in itself is enough to recommend yoga to many people.
Said to be a Hangover Cure
While you may not want to get out of bed for the pounding head, dizziness, and nausea, it is said that if you force yourself and do a few yoga poses, such as “plow,” “bow,” or “shoulder stand,” you will feel much better as your blood reverses and flushes the toxins out of your body. So, the next time you over imbibe the night before, don’t suffer in bed all day long, get up do some yoga, and go about your day.
Helps with Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are quite a few different types of yoga out there. Yoga such as hot yoga and gentle yoga have been known to help relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in sufferers. Since much of this type of yoga is slow-paced and has gentle poses, it helps to ease the pain in joints, muscles, and bones.
Improves Your Circulation While Strengthening Your Heart
Even gentle, calm yoga gets your blood pumping, which in turn improves your blood flow and strengthens your heart. As we all know, heart health is extremely important and needs to be taken seriously.
These are a few of the benefits of yoga to your health that recommend it, but, of course, there are going to be disadvantages to practicing yoga as well. We will go into a few of those below.
Cons of Practicing Yoga
Most of the side effects and dangers of practicing yoga come from doing the poses incorrectly. Below we will go into a few of the cons of yoga, so you can determine if, between the benefits and the side effects, yoga is your best option.
Possible Glaucoma Complications
Certain poses in yoga have been known to aggravate glaucoma patients and cause complications with their condition. It is important not to do any of the inversion poses to prevent these complications from happening.
Has been Known to Aggravate High Blood Pressure
Certain poses such as inversion poses and the forceful breathing associated with them can actually increase your blood pressure. That is why if you have hypertension, you need to be careful with the poses you try.
Possible Back Injuries
Yoga can have some pretty complicated and contorted poses. If you are unsure of how to do these poses, you could end up injuring your back, sometimes badly. That’s why many beginners, and some seasoned yoga students, enroll in a yoga class so that they can get help from the instructor.
Possible Muscle Strain
As previously stated, if you aren’t sure how to do the poses or even if you overdo yoga, it is possible to injure yourself. These injuries can include muscle strain and are one of the most common side effects.
These are just a few of the possible side effects of practicing yoga. The best way to avoid any complications when practicing yoga is to talk to your primary care provider first to see if yoga is indeed the right choice for you. If it is, your doctor can also point you to the right type of yoga and assist you with poses you should and shouldn’t do.
Now that we know the benefits and possible side effects of practicing yoga, let’s move into the advantages and disadvantages of practicing meditation. Ready to learn? Then, let’s get started!
Benefits of Meditation Revealed
Meditation is a practice that isn’t hard to accomplish and it has really taken hold all over the world in the last several years. While it has been practiced in other countries for centuries, in the United States, it took it a while longer to become popular. Now, everyone is doing it! Below find a few of the top benefits to taking up meditation along with your yoga.
Is Said to Reduce Stress Levels
It is said, that if you are living with the weight of the world on your shoulders that meditation is a good way to relieve that stress and anxiety. The zen type meditation practices of meditation are said to reduce stress and help you take on the world. This is also a great health benefit, as too much stress can cause health problems as well.
Is Said to Increase Your Sense of Well Being
Yoga and tai chi are said to increase your sense of well being, but so does meditation. That means that combining them is a great way to increase your sense of well being as well. It does this by increasing your psychological functioning, something all of us need at some point in our lives.
It Improves Your Ability to Focus
Meditation has been found to increase people’s ability to focus. If you have a hard time settling down to work, study, or anything else for that matter, mediation can help. It is said that regular meditation helps you to focus on tasks by helping you to sharpen your mind.
Helps You Sleep Better
If you have problems sleeping and can’t seem to turn off the world’s problems when you close your eyes at night, meditation might be able to help. Meditating teaches you to let your troubles drift away and look at things with a clearer head. This, in turn, of course, will help you to sleep better as well.
Disadvantages of Meditation Revealed
As with practicing yoga, there are disadvantages to meditation as well. Read on below to find out what a few of those disadvantages are.
It can Cause Headaches
Many people don’t realize that there are certain types of meditation that can cause headaches to occur.
Can Cause Anxiety to Worsen
You might be surprised to learn that instead of reducing anxiety, some types of meditation can actually increase it. Some people have reported feeling more depressed, stressed and anxious when meditating. If you feel this way after meditating, it is probably best to contact your primary health provider for a checkup to get to the underlying cause of the problem.
Other Possible Side Effects of Meditation
- Panic attacks
- Potential death
- Possible seizures
These are a few of the side effects that people have reported from meditating, with that in mind, know that none of these have been proven. As with yoga, it’s best to contact your primary care provider if you are in doubt as to whether meditation is right or safe for you.
Myths Concerning Yoga
Of course, along with the benefits and disadvantages of yoga come the myths. We will try to dispel a few of those here.
Myth: Some People Are Just Bad at Yoga
This is a complete myth, as yoga does not care if you can touch your toes or do the downward dog better than anyone else. As a matter of fact, the shapes you make with your body are not truly important in yoga, it’s getting in touch with the inward self that you are moving towards. So, no, you cannot be bad at yoga.
Myth: People Should Only Feel Peaceful when doing Yoga
Again, this myth isn’t true. Most yoga teachers encourage their students to feel everything when they are doing yoga. This includes any negative feelings you are having so that yoga can help you find the peace you’re seeking.
Myth: Yoga is Only for Women
The myth that yoga is only for women is one of the most common and the most believed out there. No, yoga is not just for women. Anyone, man, woman, or even children can benefit from yoga. As a matter of fact, yoga is becoming quite popular for men recently and many men will tell you so.
Myths Concerning Meditation that Need to be Dispelled
Meditation has its own set of myths attached to it, just as yoga does. Let’s go into those myths and debunk a few of them.
Myth: Meditation is Only for Spiritual or Religious People
While the practice itself is embedded in some religions, you do not have to be religious or even spiritual in order to meditate. Meditation is about reaching higher levels of awareness, not about what your religious or spiritual beliefs might be. In other words, meditation is for everyone, not just the religious and spiritual of the world.
Myth: Closed Eyes and Extreme Quiet Are Needed to Meditate
One of the most common myths about meditation out there is that you have to sit in extreme quiet with your eyes closed. That’s not true, you can easily have a walking meditation, a mindfulness meditation as you vacuum or simply sit in the park, take advantage of the quiet and meditate there. There are many different ways to get your meditation every day if you are looking to do so.
Myth: Meditation is a Type of Self-Improvement
Meditation is not a way to fix a part of yourself. It’s a way to relax, clear your mind, and relieve the stress and anxiety of the month, week, or even the day. It’s important to know that meditation isn’t a means to an end, but an act of surrendering your mind to a more relaxing, peaceful existence.
These are just a couple of the myths out there about meditation that need to be dispelled, there are many more. Do your research well, before you choose to believe myths to make sure that they are indeed facts.
Meditation and Yoga Combined
From all of the information included in this blog, it’s pretty clear that meditation and yoga when combined can give you quite a bit of the life-changing benefits that this blog talks about. However, as with any change in your physical routine, it is best to consult your primary care provider to ensure that either of these practices is in the best interest of your health, before taking up either or both.
This concludes our blog on the life-changing benefits of yoga and meditation. Do your research, take your time, and determine if these two activities are indeed the best choice for you.
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