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I Yoga: Do I Need To Meditate?

Does yoga equal meditation? Or is meditation a form of yoga? Yoga is more than stretching. Yoga has meditative aspects but it isn’t a replacement for meditation. Yoga, as commonly defined is an 8 fold path to enlightenment. Of those, about 5 involve some sort of meditation. That being said, there are many forms of moving meditation that may work, asana included. Some use walking meditation as a stepping stone. Hell, some days I make more mental progress doing pause squats than I do sitting down. It’s easier, for some people, to start with yoga and transition to a seated meditative practice later on. You see yoga can become like a moving meditation, but the true essence of meditation is obtained through not doing anything, just pure being, pure awareness, the separation of mind and consciousness. There are eight limbs of yoga, and the practice of asanas is only the third one, with the seventh being meditative absorption, and the eighth being integration. All of the limbs are important in order to achieve the last one. As for the benefits of yoga, the only way to truly experience them is to create your own personal daily practice, just like with meditation. I meditate for 30 minutes alone in a quiet place, and it often takes 5-15 minutes to go into a deep relaxed state, a state I’ve never come close to achieving through yoga. I tend to view yoga as a preparation for meditation. I have some back issues and am not able to sit comfortably until after yoga. So I do 15 minutes yoga, 30 minutes meditation, 15 minutes yoga. It also helps me focus my attention for meditation after all the multitasking I do at work. The goal of asana practice is to prepare the body for mediation.
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