Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.
The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.
Yoga as a lifestyle means far more than performing difficult poses or practicing breathing techniques. Rather, yoga is rich, encompassing philosophy about all aspects of how we live life. The ancient yogis spoke of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, which describe eight aspects of a yoga lifestyle. These are in essence a guide on how to achieve balance and harmony between the mind, body, and spirit, both individually and in relationship with the world around us. Applying yoga principles to daily life means adopting healthy practices and attitudes, ultimately leading to enlightenment or Samadhi.
The Bhagavad Gita said: “It’s not that you are just going into a corner, sitting with the spine erect and then doing some japa or some breathing and that is Yoga. My Yoga is everything. All that you do is Yoga. When you start doing something, do only that — one hundred percent that. ‘Yogaha karmasu kaushalam’ – that means perfection in your every action is Yoga.”
One of the most beautiful and liberating aspects of yoga is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or a designated building or field to practice. Yoga is accessible. The practice meets you where you are – as long as you are willing to approach it.
Yoga philosophy is one of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism. Ancient, medieval and most modern literature often refers to the Yoga school of Hinduism simply as Yoga. It is closely related to the Samkhya school of Hinduism.
The Yoga school’s systematic studies to better oneself physically, mentally and spiritually has influenced all other schools of Indian philosophy. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a key text of the Yoga school of Hinduism.