You could say that yoga & meditation are two sides of a coin. They can be difficult to separate.

Doing both meditation and yoga isn't required, but they do go together well. They each can enhance your practice of the other. If you take meditation to your yoga mat, you may find more ease and flexibility in your postures and perhaps a greater degree of calmness than you used to feel. Also, if you bring yoga to your meditation cushion, you may find a whole new awareness of the relationship between your mind and body.

Here are some suggestions on how to do meditation in motion:

Let yourself move very slowly into and out of the asanas, or yoga postures. There is no need to work at focusing your attention or concentrating. By simply moving slowly, you will achieve that extra bit of attention in a natural way. Even basic yoga postures may seem completely fascinating when done this way.

Let yourself notice the thoughts you have as you get to your edge in a posture. You may think, "That's all I can do," or "I can't go any farther," or maybe just, "That hurts." Now, ask this question, "What if I am wrong about that?" Then observe what happens.

Notice the "edges" of the physical sensations you are feeling. Another way to say it is that we often think to ourselves, "This hurts…" but we can look more carefully at what we call "hurting" and observe where it starts and where it stops. The edge may not be as specific as you assumed. You could notice that the sensation doesn't quite relate to where your body actually is. The "hurt" might extend an inch or so beyond the muscle you think is feeling it.

Pay attention to the relationship between your sensations and your mind. One thing you might notice is that when you think some sensation has your attention, either the sensation passes away (and is replaced by another), or your mind wanders for a brief moment and then returns. Either way, we tend to assume that the sensation is continuous, that what we feel is ongoing without any breaks. But see what happens when you start to notice and pay attention to those breaks.

Another experiment you can try is to go in the opposite direction. Instead of trying to force the stretch in the direction you want it to go, try to go the other way. To apply this experiment in meditation, rather than attempting to stop your thinking, you might try to think as much as possible, as quickly as possible, without stopping. Eventually, you may discover that your mind becomes naturally exhausted and then begins to rest.

In a similar vein, if you’d like to touch your toes, rather than attempting to reach your toes with your hands, see what you can do to bring your toes closer to your hands while keeping your feet on the ground. This may sound strange, but it can work because, rather than trying to elongate or relax something, your opposite muscles will contract, which results in effortless additional stretching.

When you do your meditation practice, add a yogic mindset to that practice. What I mean by that is to treat your thinking just like you treat the body in a yoga class. We don't try to stay in one yoga position for an entire class. Each position has a balance between relaxation and effort, and when you are done with one posture, you simply release it and continue on to the next one. Try playing with your thinking in the same way. Give it a little effort, then release, and then begin again.

You can find yoga schools that don't teach meditation, and many meditation retreats that tend to act as if we don’t even have physical bodies. Adding perspective from your meditation practice to your yoga, or bringing an attitude from your yoga into your meditation, you may find new dimensions in either or both practices, depending on which one you are doing the most.

Author's Bio: 

Steven Sashen began meditation when he was eight years old, was one of the first biofeedback pioneers, and researched cognition and perception at Duke University. In addition to a successful career as an entrepreneur and entertainer, Steven has taught transformational techniques around the world and developed the Instant Advanced Meditation Course, which Dr. Gay Hendricks calls, "Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to relax, expand awareness, and find deep inner-peace."

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Steven Sashen, the Official Guide To Meditation