Meditation involves a process that uses concentration to relax the body, calm the mind, and alleviate stress. One type of meditation commonly practiced is called transcendental meditation techniques.
Transcendental meditation techniques originated in India. This type of meditation involves the repetition of a word or phrase either to oneself or out loud. The use of such sounds or words helps to prevent distracting thoughts and ideas from entering the mind of the person practicing the meditation to achieve a quiet state of mind as well as to enable the body to enjoy deep, restful relaxation.
Another type of meditation is called mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation encourages a person to notice and pay attention to small details such as perceptions, sensations, as well as thought processes without feeling a need or any special demand to solve the issues that generate them. This type of meditation encourages a patient to place a special emphasis on focusing what is being experienced or felt at any given point during the meditation. This heightened sense of awareness brings acceptance and balance.
Yoga helps to increase and improve flexibility, muscle tone, and strength. Such benefits help to reduce pain and to relieve the stresses and strains on joints and the spine.
Breathing meditation techniques in yoga help increase lung capacity, which not only helps to clear nasal passages, but also increases oxygen distribution to every cell in the body in a more efficient manner. These breathing meditation exercises are called Pranayama. Yoga also helps to increase body awareness and encourage calming thoughts and feelings. Asana yoga is a very physical and intense form of yoga that requires dedicated focus on the muscles being used to perform various poses. This helps to focus the mind on the blend of body and spirit to relieve aches and pains and reduce stress accumulated throughout the day.