Is Meditation Different From Yoga?

Before judging difference it is important to know what is ‘Yoga’? Yoga is a sanskrit word which means intentional and concentrated practice to unite one’s ‘Atma’ in ‘Paramatma’. Atma means spirit and parama means supreme. Paramatma is the name given to supreme energy in snskrit. This yoga is practiced mostly by Indian saints known as yogis. To keep them selves concentrate on yoga, yogis used to keep themselves fit physically and mentally. For that they used to practiced ‘Asanas (postures)’ which keep the phisical and mental bodies fit and healthy by which yogis used to not get disturbed by ill health and other problems.

But in modern days the word yoga is misunderstood by people. The asanas were understood as yoga by people and practicing asanas with the name yoga. These days many people are practicing ‘yogasanas’ only but not yoga.

Meditation is also one kind of yoga practiced by saints in west. But these days meditation is understood as excercise to maintain mental balance and relaxation from stresses.

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1 Comment »

  1. yogi-one said

    Traditional yoga is defined by eight steps. The first ones have to do with purifying the body, and the asanas are part of these. The next steps have to do with controlling the breath. Then there is purifying the mind – meditation techniques are introduced at this stage. The final steps have to do with the liberations attained by grounding the self in the Self (atma to paramatma, as you say).

    Yoga in the west became exercise, and meditation became stress relief. This was done to popularize yoga and meditation so people could actually attract westerners to the practice, and charge them money for classes in those subjects.

    Most people are not interested in the spiritual pursuit, either in the east or the west. There are a few serious practitioners, then there are the lay people who basically go to temples or churches to offer prayers, attend services, or use the church/temple as a hub for social activities like classes and meetings for groups.

    The money to support the temples always comes from the lay people (because typically the practitioners have simplified their lifestyles to make more time for practice and to help clarify their minds). Hence the demand to engage the regular people and when possible, wealthy benefactors. They are the ones who can financially support the temples.

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