Yoga is to meditation as lemons are to lemonade; you cannot do yoga without meditation. Meditation occurs when the mind has been silenced and a focus on the present begins. Yoga teaches yogis and yoginis alike to stay in the moment and not allow your thoughts to take control. Meditation is tricky in the beginning because as humans our minds are always racing and always thinking about what is coming next. Humans have quite a difficult time just being in the moment, it’s in our nature to plan. Yoga and meditation are the exact opposite; no planning involved rather go with the flow. This is why yoga and meditation are both referred to as practices because evolution is never-ending.
Yoga requires a quiet mind, which is also required in meditation. A strong focus on breathing is another important aspect of yoga and meditation. This can be difficult at first because, for most of us, we are used to zipping through and not really feeling anything — we are always on the run. Hesitation and resistance are two common reactions to new experiences. For most of us, our first response to any type of struggle or feeling of discomfort is to run far away from the pain. Facing uncomfortable situations means to crack open your heart and become vulnerable and that is terrifying for most people.
Meditation is the act of looking inward and not allowing external forces to interrupt the process. Yoga is the also the act of looking inward and not allowing external forces to interrupt the process. The trick with looking inward is to sift out the negative thoughts and bring the positive thoughts to the forefront. Meditation and yoga are both practices because they can never be perfected; humans are always evolving and learning.
A nonjudgmental approach to yourself while doing yoga and/or meditation is the only way to capture the full understanding of both practices. If you have a judgmental approach the practices will be difficult to comprehend. We are human and continuously fall short of anything; yoga and meditation remind of that flaw and many others but grace is the answer. Give yourself grace because you will always be human, no more and nothing less; an imperfectly perfect human. Life can be relentless and unforgiving at times, but meditation and yoga will always be the few constants and will always show up at the right time. Allowing meditation and yoga in will require an openness, unlike any other, vulnerability and rawness. If you let meditation and yoga in, you will have only the truest companions.