Using Yoga and Meditation to Achieve a Fitness Balance

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Meditation = Determination

Ever feel like there’s something missing from your weekly fitness routine? Do you always seem stressed and tense? Do you feel as if you’re carrying the entire world on your shoulders? With the help of meditation, you can definitely put throw those unhealthy feelings on the wayside.

Take Yoga enthusiast and lifestyle blogger Jade Hunter, for example. For her, a strong mental approach comes from using yoga and meditation to listen to her body. Mentally, you must be aware of the excuses and be strong enough to call yourself out when you’re slacking off.

“Meditation gives you an opportunity to discover more about yourself,” says the blogger. “It’s taking time to shine a light onto aspects that our busy everyday minds can’t stop to consider. In fitness and health this can help you achieve your goals by creating awareness about the reasons you are training, giving you more focus or making you realise what’s important and if there are some things that you need to let go of.”

When people talk about yoga, they often reference the physiological benefits of the practice, such as increased flexibility and decreased muscle stiffness.  However, not enough is mentioned about the mental, psychological, and cognitive benefits of yoga—and there are plenty.  There have been several studies done to assess the effectiveness of yoga for brain and mental health—-and the research has come back promising.

According to the British Psychological Society, yoga involves concentration on the breath and body, which makes it a great way to soothe a person’s mind and relieve worries. By helping discharge tension and stress, yoga poses and breathing exercises keep a person free from such negative elements. As a result, a person who does yoga is better able to achieve their peak of psychological health.

For more people, Yoga’s primary influential benefit is the meditation factor. Achieving your fitness goals, no matter what they are, takes a strong mental approach; which is something that goes hand in hand with practicing yoga. “There’s a popular saying that reads ‘the more grateful I am, the luckier I feel,'” Jade tells us. “When your energy is low or you feel negative if you reconnect to the earth and notice the small things, like a nice flower on your walk home from work or a card you received from a friend then you will realize how truly beautiful this life is, even when things get tough. Like the sun shining through grey clouds.

Consisting of activities such as relaxation, meditation, socialization, and exercise, yoga has been proven helpful in reducing your anxiety and depression. According to a Harvard University article, yoga is able to accomplish this by helping regulate a person’s stress response system. With its ability to lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as improve respiration, yoga provides you with the means to deal with and resolve anxiety and depression without resorting to expensive medications.

And for those who don’t consider yoga to be “real exercise,” Jade encourages all doubters to try a 90 minute Bikram yoga class! Yoga and Meditation have helped Jade’s life so much that she can’t imagine a life without carrying around a yoga mat. We asked Jade what she’d say to persuade someone who’s on the fence about class, and she gave us 3 solid reasons to join a class:

  1. It helps compliment other activities. Yoga is the perfect partner for running, surfing, weight training or even sitting at a desk!
  2. It helps with putting things in perspective. Yoga creates a sense of being grounded, which we often struggle to achieve in a busy modern world. We get to stop and connect to the earth and let the stress of life slowly slip away.
  3. You get to have  nap at the end (: Most yogi’s will happily confess that they’ve fallen asleep in Savasana and there really is no feeling quite like that final resting pose!

Have unanswered yoga questions for our friend Jade? Subscribe to her blog or follow her on Instagram for an up-close and personal look inside her fitness routine.