Yoga and meditation are often referred to as the same, but are they? It doesn’t take an expert to know that the two are closely related and tend to go hand in hand; folded hands, of course. Even photos of the two acts that appear to be similar, blurring the lines of: Are they practicing yoga or meditating?
Yoga vs. Meditation
Well, both acts originated in India. Meditation finding its way to ancient text by 1,500 BCE, and yoga around 500 BCE. It can be said that they are part of each other, yoga playing a role in meditation, and meditation playing a part in yoga. But are the terms interchangeable?
By definition, meditation is an engagement in contemplation or reflection. It is a mental exercise. Yoga, by definition, is a spiritual discipline that incorporates meditation and bodily postures, making it both a mental and physical exercise.
Relatives or Twins?
Perhaps it can be suggested that meditation is yoga, but maybe that yoga is not meditation. However, one may argue that yoga can be a form of meditation in essence.
The trouble is that while both acts are undoubtedly related and similar, they are subject to the versatility that the core principles of each have. Both yoga and meditation mean different things to different people and are practiced in a multitude of ways.