Meditation or Mindfulness? What's the Difference?

A few weeks ago we uploaded some Guided Meditations about which we’re delighted to have had a some great feedback (thank you all!). We have also had a few questions about the content and blog post which we thought we’d share here.

 In yoga we talk about both meditation and mindfulness, and have been asked what the difference is, or even if there is one? Are they both the same thing?  

 Well, no, they’re not. 

They confusion sometimes occurs as one of the most popular forms of meditation is indeed to help create mindfulness!  This is where your Guide will ask you to intentionally concentrate on what is going in your body and mind right now.  As I explain in my “Beginners Guide to Meditation”, if you are not used to keeping your mind still - and it can be difficult at first - then it is very useful to have something on which to focus. This could be your breath, your Guide’s voice, or a chant or mantra. 

 So while there is crossover between meditation and mindfulness, it is helpful to think of them as mirror images of each other.  

 Mindfulness can be seen as being aware of something, while mediation is being aware of no thing. 

 In mindfulness we strive to be fully present and aware of what we are doing. In meditation the intention is clear-mindedness and focus.  

 Mindfulness is how we direct our attention to the experience we are having right in this present moment. In yoga we are often asked to check in with how our body is feeling, and one of my uploads is a 15 minute body scan to assist with this. We all possess this mindfulness but sometimes it gets lost in the daily noise of our lives. Daily practise helps us reconnect with it. 

In meditation we focus inwards to try and create concentration and calm. We may sometimes spend long chunks of time just focussing inwards to create or increase our emotional balance. The goal of meditation is to open our hearts and find inner peace. 

So, however you wish to practise it, switching off for a short time during a busy day to calm your chattering mind is always a good thing. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of quiet thought a day helps reduce stress, aids focus, and increases optimism.  Why not find a quiet corner and try one of our uploads ?