The Overlap Between Mindfulness, Yoga, and Meditation

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During your recovery journey, you may learn about the health benefits of practicing mindfulness, yoga, and meditation. Generally, these practices all work toward the same goal.

3 Components, 1 Goal

The overlap between these components is apparent in practice and results. Practicing mindfulness, yoga, or meditation can help you make progress toward the goal of greater emotional well-being. Each component teaches your body and mind to relax, de-stress, and connect with your deeper self. They can also help you find peace with the present moment.

While each of these practices works toward the goal of increasing peace in your life, they work best together. Combining these practices in your recovery is a powerful tool to decrease anxiety. Meditation can help with mindfulness, which can help with yoga, and so on.

Fortunately, Pathways Recovery Center offers many holistic therapies. We encourage our clients to use mindfulness, yoga, and meditation to manage their mental health in recovery.

The Role of Mindfulness in Yoga and Meditation

Mindfulness is a philosophy that is often incorporated into recovery treatment. The philosophy of mindfulness can help you live in the present moment. It can help you express kindness toward yourself and others and change negative thought patterns to productive ones.

This philosophy is used in both yoga and meditation. Mindfulness is all about focusing on yourself in the present moment by using your senses. These techniques can help you focus during a meditation or yoga session. Practicing meditation and yoga sets the mood for mindfulness by encouraging you to identify your external and internal sensations. 

Unlike meditation and yoga, mindfulness itself is not an activity. It is a belief or way of being that you can incorporate into your everyday life. Yoga and meditation are often used to achieve mindfulness by increasing concentration and awareness of the mind and body. However, these are not the only activities that can be practiced in a mindful way. Whenever you engage deeply with your senses, you have an opportunity to practice mindfulness.

The philosophy of mindfulness can also be used in medicinal settings. For example, it is used in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and Pathways Recovery's mindful-based stress reduction (MBSR) treatment.

The Role of Yoga in Mindfulness and Meditation

Yoga is a form of exercise that can help you improve your strength and flexibility. However, it is also so much more. It is a popular complementary treatment for various mental health disorders, including substance use disorder (SUD).

Although yoga originated from ancient Indian spiritual practices, it is more commonly used in America to improve physical and mental well-being. In America, yoga usually involves a combination of asanas (posture), pranayama (breathing), and dhyana (meditation) techniques. It incorporates breathing, mindfulness practices, and movement.

Practicing yoga helps you be more aware of and connected to your body. This can help you be aware of your emotional and physical needs. Yoga involves mindfulness and meditation through the inclusion of chanting and guided classes that encourage you to focus on how your body feels through various movements.

The Role of Meditation in Mindfulness and Yoga

Meditation is often associated with the promotion of spiritual well-being. The practice of meditation goes back thousands of years and is based on Eastern traditions. However, in recent years, it has been used to improve both mental and physical health. There is scientific evidence that shows the benefits of meditation in improving health.

The practice of meditation requires you to focus on the sensations of your environment. This could include your breath, visual images, and sounds. By helping you gain mastery over your focus, meditation can help you gain control over your thoughts. This can help you break negative thought patterns and reduce your stress.

When meditation is used for mindfulness, it is referred to as mindfulness meditation. In a 2012 survey, about 1.9% of US adults reported the practice of mindfulness meditation. Among those who practiced mindfulness meditation, 73% reported they used it to promote overall health.

Benefits of This Trio of Practices

The practices of mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can provide various benefits for your overall well-being. These benefits include:

  • Reduced stress
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved sleep
  • Managed pain
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Improved ADHD symptoms
  • Reduced PTSD symptoms
  • Managed SUD symptoms

These practices can introduce big lifestyle changes. When practiced regularly, mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can help you stay grounded. Grounding is a technique used to manage anxiety symptoms that can reduce excessive worry. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation give you better control over your focus. When you choose to live in the present moment, you leave less room for worrying about things that are out of your control.

Are Mindfulness, Yoga, and Meditation Practices Right for You?

Many treatment plans incorporate a variety of traditional and nontraditional treatments. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation are only some of the techniques you will encounter along your recovery journey. These complementary practices may not be for you, but you won't know until you try them.

However, there are various ways to practice all of these techniques. There are many different types of yoga and meditation. Some meditations involve a gong or other vibrations while others are completely quiet. Different types of yoga will focus on different aspects of the body. Some will be more meditation0focused than others.

Finally, there are numerous ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your life. You can incorporate mindfulness into your life through journaling or walks in nature. Challenge yourself to try various types of mindfulness, yoga, and meditation to see what resonates with you.

Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation are popular complementary treatments that could help you manage your mental health and SUD symptoms. Pathways Recovery Center offers various modalities such as mindfulness-based practices, yoga, and meditation to help you destress, manage your anxiety symptoms, and improve your overall well-being. Our mental health professionals can work closely with you to create a treatment plan that is specific to your individual recovery needs. Our small facility can give you the attentiveness you deserve during your recovery journey because we do recovery one day and one person at a time. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, call (888) 771-0966 to learn how we can meet you where you are in recovery.

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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