Yoga and meditation both offer a wide range of mental and physical health benefits. These ancient practices can help support mindfulness, a decrease in stress levels, and a positive mood. Learn all about the benefits of yoga, meditation, and music for your health below. Plus, at the bottom you’ll find a customized relaxation playlist to get you started.
Yoga And Meditation: An Intro
Yoga and meditation are two distinct practices. But, they share a lot of overlap. Check out a few of the differences and how to perform each activity here.
Yoga is a physical practice of stretches, body movements, and breathing to increase relaxation and well-being. There are multiple forms of yoga that focus on different aspects of the body and relaxation. There’s bound to be one out there that works for you and your health goals.1
Much like yoga, meditation is a physical and mental practice that focuses the mind. It can help reduce stress and increase feelings of calm and happiness. A meditation practice, however, relies less on body movement and more on mental relaxation and focus.2
You can meditate from the comfort of your couch or on a walk. Basically, you can meditate any time you can tune your focus into the moment for a bit of calm and relaxation.3
A Combination Approach
There are elements of meditation that you can integrate into your yoga routine and vice versa. In fact, yoga is sometimes referred to as “moving meditation.”4
Whether you choose to do yoga, meditate, or a combination of the two, you stand to benefit. The practices of yoga and meditation take on different forms, but their function can have similar effects on your relaxation. Tony Horton enjoys a combination of both practices as a dual-approach to help calm the mind and focus on the moment.
This calming quality has a variety of potential mental and physical health benefits. Learn about them below.
The Potential Health Benefits Of Yoga And Meditation
Regular yoga sessions can provide you with all sorts of potential health advantages. For example, yoga may support:
- Improved flexibility
- Healthy respiration
- Weight management
- Protection against injury5
Relaxing meditation offers all sorts of wonderful perks as well. It is shown to support:
- A sharpened attention
- An increase in compassion
- Mental health6
Yoga And Meditation – Tools For Stress Reduction
Both yoga and meditation are great activities for stress relief.7 One study found that yoga actually lowers the amount of cortisol that the body produces. This is the main hormone associated with stress.8
How Does Music Come Into Play?
One cornerstone of both yoga and meditation is the concept of being “in the moment.” This means no fretting about the future or the past. It’s all about focusing your mind and thoughts on the now.
It’s that kind of focus that calming music and sounds can assist. That’s because music has the unique ability to absorb your attention without being a distraction. In fact, the sounds of a relaxing song might actually help you focus and explore your emotions. This makes it a great tool to aid and even improve your meditation.9
One study found that people who listen to music on a daily basis have lower levels of stress than those who don’t.10
This relaxing quality of music may enhance the effects of your yoga and meditation sessions. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right relaxing music and sound for your yoga or meditation session.
What Type Of Music Is Best For Relaxation?
Meditation music doesn’t need to be all bells or the hums of Tibetan monks. That may work for some, but it’s certainly not the only way to relax with music.
Music is all about personal preference. If certain instruments or genres of music stress you out, then you can’t expect them to help you relax. Think about what settles you into place and brings you calm and focus. Playing music that you don’t like will probably only cause you to become irritated and lose focus.
If you have trouble deciding, it may help to imagine yourself studying. What sounds and music allow you to focus on a textbook or math equation? Likewise, what music can you listen to that helps you fall asleep? Sleep music and study music may serve your yoga and meditation needs as well.
Common Music For Meditation And Yoga
While there is no golden rule for what meditation song is the best, there are certain music qualities that tend to be more relaxing than others.
That’s because your brain synchronizes with the beats and sounds of music. When music plays around 60 beats-per-minute, your brain produces alpha brainwaves. This is the mental frequency present when you are relaxed and awake. So, music at that tempo helps guide your brain into that relaxed state.11
Some of the most common types of music at that range and with relaxing effects are:
- String music
- Easy listening
Your relaxing meditation song doesn’t even have to be a song, though. You can also listen to relaxing nature sounds. The rhythms of the outside world can have a very calming power over the mind. They help to draw the attention outward, promoting relaxation and calmness.12
There are a variety of natural sounds that you can add to your playlist that can help you focus and bring down that heart rate. Here are a few nature recordings to try:
- Rivers and creeks
A Playlist To Call Your Own
Tony Horton enjoys a wide variety of music to help guide his yoga and meditation. Below you can find a few tracks from his playlists to help improve your next meditation or yoga session. Get comfortable. Hit play. And, fall in love with your new relaxation soundtrack.
Tune In To The Sounds Of Relaxation
Hopefully, this new playlist can add an extra layer of calm to your yoga or guided meditation session – or at least help you calm your mind.
Moments of pause like this can do great things for your mental and physical health. So, take a few minutes out of your day to let these calm and soothing sounds help you unwind.
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