The Yogic sages offer us many practices to support our journey towards Self-Realization. If you’re like me you found asana first and it changed your life. In fact that may be why you became a yoga teacher!
Yogis suggest asana may be necessary to settle and balance the body in preparation for meditation. For if the body is restless or painful it will disrupt the life force energy (prana) and meditation won’t be as juicy. Meditation then is the ultimate practice of bringing the busy mind so fully inward so that we might realize the transcendent nature of our Self.
Science tells us that the brains of meditators are different from those who don’t practice. Meditating activates those areas of your brain that are often neglected, especially those tied to regions like the lateral prefrontal cortex that manage anxiety, emotion, and fear. The more you meditate the more those regions of your brain strengthen and reinforce those healthier patterns. Additionally, in a 15-minute meditation you can lower your heart rate and calm your nervous system, which is essential for all healing processes.