Yoga Breathing & Zen Meditation – Methods Of Disciplining The Mind

By Patricia | February 2, 2009
Compare Yoga Breathing & Zen Meditation

Difference Between Yoga Breathing and Zen Meditation

Both yoga breathing or pranayama and Zen meditation are methods of disciplining the mind. Although both disciplines may have a similar end, their approach or path towards this end differs. While pranayama breathing is often done while meditating, Zen meditation is about the control of mind, which is done with the right breath work. The main difference between yoga breathing and Zen meditation is that yoga breathing is done to breathe in more oxygen and prepare the mind and body for meditation, while Zen meditation is a state of contemplation and reflection. Another difference is that Zen meditation is about shallow breathing, while yoga breathing is about deep breaths. While these are the differences, both have a similarity; both prepare the body and mind to reach a higher plane by calming the senses, helping in concentration and energizing the body.

Zen Meditation

This is a practice where you calm your mind as well as the body to discover insights into yourself. You do this by sitting in a prescribed position, and shutting off all thoughts and images, breathing in a shallower manner and becoming more reflective. This form of meditation teaches you to connect with all aspects of the body – the soul, mind and the body. This strengthens the synergy. Zen meditation is about being in the present, rather than delving on the past or the future.

Some Steps Incorporated In Zen meditation:

  • You have to be in the present moment and cannot think of the future or the past. Zen meditation is not about reflection about life or general ruminations.
  • You have to name your breaths as you inhale and exhale.
  • While inhaling, you should think about your body; while exhaling you relax parts of your body, one at a time. The first part you should relax is the shoulders.
  • In Zen meditation, you relax your facial muscles.
  • As you breathe in, you should be able to think of the joy of life.

Pranayama or Yoga Breathing

Pranayama or yoga breathing is about the science of controlling your breath. Yoga breathing consists of a series of breathing exercises to flush out the toxins from the body and bring in more oxygen. Prana means life energy; Yama means discipline; and, Ayama means expansion. Pranayama prepares the body for higher meditation. Pranayama teaches people the correct method of breathing. Generally, we do use only a fraction of our lungs to breathe. But with pranayama we increase our lung’s capacity. This method of breathing keeps the body healthy and prevents it from contracting diseases. This form of yoga breathing helps in digestion, improves concentration, soothes the mind, and keeps one healthy.

Related Articles
Find Us On Facebook
Copyright © 2024 Mac Millan Interactive Communications, LLC Terms of Use | Sitemap
The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
See additional information. Use of this site is subject to our terms of service and privacy policy.