The meaning of meditation in yoga in simple words

A woman practicing yoga meditation

In the midst of our fast-paced, ever-changing world, finding moments of stillness and inner peace has become an essential pursuit for many. As the demands of modern life continue to intensify, the need to establish a sense of tranquillity and restore balance has never been more crucial. This is where yoga and meditation classes step in as a powerful practice that offers a path to inner serenity.

The connection between yoga and meditation is deeply intertwined. While yoga encompasses physical postures, breath control, and ethical principles, meditation serves as the gateway to the deeper dimensions of the practice. It serves as a tool for cultivating mindfulness and creating a harmonious union between the mind, body, and spirit.

Yoga and meditation benefits

In today's hectic world, the benefits of meditation and yoga are becoming increasingly recognized. Together, these practices form a powerful combination that provides a holistic approach to finding inner peace and balance.

a woman meditating in yoga pose at home

When we meditate, profound physiological and mental changes occur, psychologists' research has confirmed it recently. This causes a shift in our brain and the involuntary functions of the body. Regular practice can help cultivate mindfulness and enhance self-awareness, unlocking many life benefits:

  1. Yoga meditation is a way to calm the constant chatter in the mind and tap into a place of profound stillness. 
  2. It allows individuals to discover their inner landscape beyond daily distractions. 
  3. Yoga meditation offers an opportunity to embrace the present moment fully. It encourages individuals to let go of worries about the future and regrets from the past, focusing instead on the here and now.
  4. Beyond its immediate effects, meditation and yoga offer long-term benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression and promoting emotional well-being.
  5. It promotes mental clarity, enabling individuals to approach challenges with a calm and centred mindset. 

Whether practised in solitude or as part of a guided yoga meditation group, it is a transformative journey that ultimately leads to the discovery of inner peace and tranquillity.

What is yoga meditation?

The word "meditation" by itself means to be observing or considering making appropriate decisions. To meditate means to think about a plan of action. However, it has a more specific definition in the yogic context, referring to a state of pure consciousness.

Meditation in yoga is not about experiencing psychic phenomena. The real success in meditation comes from mental strength, calmness and peace in daily life. Meditation is not an unfounded imagination as well. It's not seeing things, flying in the air, travelling through walls, or reading other people's thoughts. Yoga meditation for beginners is a tool to help achieve mental balance and peace.

Before attempting a serious session, it is best to learn yoga and meditation by using asanas, pranayama, or counselling a therapeutic psychologist to combat the negative thoughts in the mind. The mental calmness that comes from yoga meditation training should bring your body, your mind, and your senses into harmony, and relaxes your nervous system.

While you do not have to meditate in order for various types of yoga to be practised, the two activities complement each other. Yoga for meditation does help you to relax and concentrate. The process shouldn't leave you feeling physically or mentally uncomfortable. If this occurs, you can reduce your practice time, or change your approach. If this doesn't help, you can try adding a few minutes of end-of-yoga meditation to your yoga routine.

Types of yoga meditation

different types of yoga meditation

While yoga itself encompasses a holistic approach to physical and mental health, various techniques can be incorporated to deepen yoga and meditation advantages. Here are the different types of yoga meditation, each with its unique focus and techniques.

  • Kriya yoga meditation. Kriya yoga puts a lot of emphasis on pranayama or breath control. Although pranayama can be found in many forms of yoga it is the core of kriya yoga. The specific breathing techniques used in kriya yoga meditation are believed to purify the subtle energy channels in the body, allowing the life-force energy (prana) to flow more freely, leading to spiritual growth and self-realization. This practice is traditionally transmitted from a qualified teacher to a student. Such a relationship is considered essential in kriya yoga. A guru provides guidance, support, and personalized instruction, making it a perfect yoga-guided meditation for beginners. The systematic approach leads the practitioner gradually toward deeper states of meditation and spiritual realization.
  • Raja yoga meditation. Raja Yoga encompasses a wide range of practices, including meditation, ethical principles, a set of physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques, and contemplation. The term "Raja" means "king" or "royal" in Sanskrit, indicating that this form of yoga is considered the highest and most complete path to self-mastery and enlightenment. The royal path of yoga is a comprehensive system of meditation and spiritual practices that aim to lead practitioners to higher levels of self-realization, inner peace, and spiritual growth. Raja yoga meditation technique involves shifting the attention of the mind from the outer senses towards the inner feelings of the body.
  • Sahaja yoga meditation. Sahaja yoga differs from other types of yoga in that it doesn't practise chanting mantras or doing physical exercises and is suited for guided meditation online. It teaches that the human body is not only physical but also subtle and consists of energy channels and centres. Sahaja yogis develop a quiet, thoughtless awareness within the subtle energy. The main benefits of sahaja yoga meditation can be described as a "natural awakening" that does not require conscious effort. Sahaja yoga believes that each person is their own teacher.
  • Kundalini yoga meditation. Kundalini meditation is a dynamic and transformative practice that combines breathwork, chanting, movement, and visualization. Kundalini yoga and meditation aim to reach the Kundalini energy that lies at the base of your spine. Kundalini yoga meditation helps for sleep, balances the chakras, expands consciousness, and cultivates spiritual growth. It is essential to approach kundalini yoga meditation for depression with respect and caution, as the awakening of energy can be intense and may bring up unresolved emotional issues. Therefore, it is recommended to practise Kundalini Yoga under the guidance of a qualified and experienced instructor.
  • Yoga Nidra sleep meditation. Yoga nidra, also known as yoga sleep meditation, is a powerful meditation and relaxation technique that induces deep relaxation and conscious sleep. Yoga Nidra guided meditation involves lying down in a comfortable position while the instructor walks you through a systematic journey of relaxation, body awareness, and visualization. Yoga Nidra promotes restorative rest, stress reduction, and mental clarity. Yoga Nidra meditation is also a potent tool for self-discovery and stress reduction. Regular practice can help improve sleep, enhance focus, and alleviate anxiety and depression. Additionally, guided meditation yoga nidra offers an opportunity for self-healing and inner transformation, making it a valuable addition to one's wellness routine.
  • Yin yoga meditation. While yin yoga involves longer holds and a meditative approach to the postures, it is not a traditional form of seated or focused meditation. The meditative aspect of yin yoga comes from being present with sensations and cultivating mindfulness during the long holds of poses.

Integrating yoga meditation into daily life

Yoga meditation exercise daily doesn't need to be a burden. You should find a practice and time that works for you. It doesn't have to be long or complex. Even a couple of minutes of meditation per day can provide many benefits.
You can add a meditation before or after the yoga routine or as a separate block of time. You can start by combining seated meditation with yoga because pure meditation can trigger anxiety. Yoga, which is fundamentally breathwork in relation to physical positions (or asanas), can be a great base for the end of yoga meditation.
Many people feel that morning yoga meditation gives them a sense of calm and poise as they begin their day. By many yogis, mornings are considered the best times to meditate as you're less distracted by the demands on your time. If you have trouble with a morning routine, consider an afternoon or evening session.
No matter, what you choose yoga first or meditation, consistency is the key. So you are best to meditate at the time and place of your choosing every day. Pick a location that's quiet, comfortable, and free of distractions. Start with simple and accessible yoga meditation techniques and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your meditation sessions.

Meditation yoga poses

We often imagine someone sitting in a lotus position with their legs bent and eyes closed. However, poses are not the most important part of meditation. A good meditation pose in yoga should be comfortable and provide a strong foundation.

  1. Sitting on the floor cross-legged, with a straight spine yoga meditation pose aligns your entire body properly, and lets you feel more relaxed and focused. Sitting cross-legged is secure, symmetrical, and allows for deep breathing. Consider leaning your back against a wall or cushion to give you additional lower-back support. Or,  you could also extend your legs in front.
  2. Sitting on a chair pose is often the most comfortable way to meditate. The chair you choose should support stability and an upright posture. Sit with a straight back, relaxed shoulders, your hands on your lap and flat feet. Leaning gently against a soft pillow can provide you with additional lower-back support.
  3. Standing in a straight pose for meditation is also quite common. Keep your spine in its natural curve, root your feet and heels into the ground. If you find it uncomfortable to have your ankles touching, try putting your legs apart about hip-distance with your feet facing outwards. Make sure your shoulders and hips are in line.
  4. Lying down pose or savasana, is the meditative yoga pose that you do at the end of most yoga classes. Also known as the corpse pose, it is widely used for yoga nidra meditation. If you can resist the temptation to fall asleep, and keep your mind alert, lying on the floor is a great position for yoga meditation. You can lie flat on your back or place props underneath your knees and your head.

Yoga meditation words

Meditation words to say or chanting meditation is a technique that involves silently repeating a mantra, a specific sound or phrase. Meditation using mantras can help to keep the mind in check and focused by giving it an object to concentrate on.

Meditation mantras consist of words or phrases which you can sing or chant in your mind, or hum or repeat quietly. Some are short and others are long. It is important to remember that mantras are more than just repetitive sounds. It's a sacred name or sound, which helps to keep you focused while you meditate. 

Thus, you may develop your personal mantra for meditation. Personal mantras motivate and inspire you to achieve your goals. Mantra words for meditation may contain repeating affirmations that express well-wishes and goodwill. By cultivating feelings of love and compassion, this practice helps dissolve negative emotions, enhances empathy, and promotes emotional well-being.

Yoga meditation room ideas

people practicing yoga and meditation

Creating a serene and inspiring meditation yoga room can be the perfect sanctuary to nurture your inner peace and self-awareness. Find a quiet corner in your home that you can devote solely to your meditation practice. Clear away any clutter and create a non-distracting environment. 

Three pillars of successful meditation




Lighting is crucial for creating a soothing atmosphere. You may opt for soft, warm lighting with candles or string lights. Consider using dimmer switches to control the brightness. Alternatively, use morning sunlight from the window and fresh air to promote relaxation.

Choose the right aromas for your yoga meditative practice. Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or sandalwood can help create a calming ambiance and enhance your meditation experience. Invest in an essential oil diffuser or incense holder to fill the air with these delightful scents.

Yoga meditation music can play a vital role in your sessions. Select gentle and calming tunes that resonate with you. Instrumental music, nature sounds, or traditional mantras can help you find inner harmony and deepen your concentration during meditation. Experiment with different relaxing music for yoga meditation and see what aligns best with your practice.

Yoga meditation offers a wide range of techniques to suit individual preferences and needs. By incorporating these various types of yoga meditation into your practice, you can deepen your self-awareness, reduce stress, enhance emotional well-being, and cultivate a sense of inner peace. 

Experiment with different techniques, and find the ones that resonate with you the most. Remember, the true essence of yoga meditation lies in the journey of self-discovery and inner transformation. Don't quit if the first session doesn't go well. You may not realise how difficult it is to stop thinking and do nothing. In a few tries you'll be able to master it quickly.

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