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September 21, 2016

Differences between Yoga and Meditation

Over centuries, the concept of yoga and meditation has become vast and has spread wide across the world. Everybody’s seeking a stress reliever and this is the one that most people end up choosing. However, most people tend to forget that yoga and meditation are two different practices. Yoga cannot be defined as an activity that focuses on one single aspect of one’s personality. It is the name of a union of physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional harmony. We can call it a combination of four practices brought together by the Hindu culture and altered over generations of time, which are:


This type of yoga deals with one’s actions. As we know, we turn to yoga for peace of mind and inner satisfaction. These things can be achieved by helping others and doing helpful deeds that boost the feeling of love that bubbles inside us. Our selfless efforts to make someone a bit happier, brings the feeling of inner satisfaction back to our own selves; much like what Karma is.


You know how we always get irritated when we can’t find the answers that we’re looking for? Well, the satisfaction you get when you know the entire thing and sit back and relax, that’s jnana yoga. Jhana relates to knowledge and awareness, hence gaining understanding is also a form of Yoga.


This type of yoga is most common in the Muslim world. It is submission and devotion to God.


‘Raja’ is the type of yoga that is closest to meditation. Raja yoga focuses on attaining consciousness and directing all attention inwards, much like the concept of meditation.

It’s a common mistake by many to consider yoga and meditation the same. Their purpose might be similar, but the two involve different practices and methods.


It has already been explained how yoga can be of multiple types, and meditation is just one of those. By performing just Raja Yoga (meditation), you might feel like a yogi that has perfected the art. This misconception may occur due to the feeling of all that stress in your mind flying out the door. In reality, you’ve only experienced a part of yoga, not the whole practice. Raja yoga is the best at letting you focus on solely yourself by toning out all the thoughts of the outside world. It brings in positive energy to help you achieve a complete state of relaxation. However, the use of the word ‘complete’ there, might be questionable.

You can’t achieve the eternal state of relaxation by just hanging on to 25 percent of what yoga really is. Conclusively, we can say that meditation is merely a small part, while yoga is a much wider practice.


Complete illumination through yoga can be achieved step by step, not by directly skipping to the most complex part.  These steps might include mastering positions, understanding morals, gaining more self-awareness etc. Meditation is simple one of the steps, which might actually be the most important one. Yoga includes meditation. Differentiating between yoga and meditation is like comparing bread with food.

  • Meditation is dependent on a single focus-based session, whereas yoga is a step by step process.
  • Our minds and souls are bettered by meditation while yoga is simply a set of tools to achieve it.
  • In Yoga, to dig into a deeper state of tranquility, both your body and mind come into play. You need your soul to feel free and wander places. It includes body movements, gestures, and balancing until you can successfully block out the outside world completely. You may notice that your focus shifts from your surroundings to your body and soon you reside in a complete state of inner consciousness. You start from a balanced pose using your physical body and tone the focus out from it soon.
  • Meditation is relaxation of body while a deep thought process is taking place. Its sending your body to sleep while keeping your mind awake. On the other hand, yoga is the union of the individual states.
  • Yoga along with physical fitness is the attainment of permanent peace, whereas the effects of meditation tend to wear off with time.
  • Meditation is that part of yoga which helps in self realization.
  • Yoga eases pain while meditation feeds the mind with intellect.

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Miri Lenoff - Known Success

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