Can the physical practice of yoga be a substitute for seated meditation? IS it the same? DO you need to meditate? Learn about mindfulness, meditation, asana practice, and what each of them serves. Some of the purposes overlap, but they are not the same.
What is your experience? What is the difference between asana, mindfulness, and meditation?
Leave us a comment with your thoughts and experiences with meditation and asana.
Can I do asana instead of meditation?
Welcome to Doron Yoga. Many times I’ve been asked about doing asana practice – “does that count as meditation?” “If I do asana practice (the physical yoga practice), do I still need to sit down and meditate?” “What about if I’m very mindful when I cut vegetables or eat my food?”
Mindful practices are extremely important and extremely useful. They really help train the mind to be steady at the task at hand. They train the mind to be focused and not wander around. That’s really important.
But when we sit down, there is some other stuff that happens. We are not using our senses. We have an ability to drop down into more of a stillness than when we are in the movement of asana practice (or when we cut vegetables).
The importance of seated meditation
When I’m sitting in my meditation practice, my body is still, and slowly my mind becomes still. At first maybe there is a concentration, similar to the awareness/mindfulness practice, but over time there is a dropping away from the senses, and even my awareness becomes a very different awareness. At first it may be an internal awareness, of a vision, of a mantra, or in the zen tradition, of the breath; but over time, even that awareness will develop into an awareness that’s not internal or external.
It is possible to find something similar to that while practicing mindfulness in our daily lives, but it is not likely. I really encourage you to keep up your asana practice, keep being mindful of everything you do in your daily life – and yet at the same time, recognize that there is no real substitute for sitting down and taking seriously still time to breathe and meditate.
So hopefully (I know it can be hard!), try to find a place in your life to practice both asana and meditation, because both are important.
Thanks for watching everyone. Please share this with your friends. Let them enjoy this as well. Hit like on Doron Yoga’s YouTube channel, and even leave a comment there or here on the Doron Yoga blog post. Learn more about these concepts and many others during our yoga teacher training in Guatemala at Lake Atitlan. See you soon!