The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

Hello! Nice to meet you, I’m Lori.

I’ve dealt with various obstacles over the course of my twenty-seven years here on Earth. My mother passed away when I was 15 years old, and becoming an adult wasn’t a piece of cake. I lived anxiously through my twenties, not knowing how to control or relieve the stress in my life. And I didn’t understand how to effectively cope with my issues – that is, until I learned about what fitness and healthy living could do to change my life for the better. I decided to study to be a fitness and nutrition coach, and after months of research and learning how to be successful in this new career, I was certified. I knew this would be a great way to help not only myself, but all the people who've shared similar issues and experiences with me. It's been two years now, and I’ve been able to change my perspective on how to live healthy. I’ve learned how to control anxiety and motivate myself and others to be better. Now, I’m an avid fitness enthusiast, a wellness guru, and a freelance writer in NY.

Welcome you to my journey –

Living in New York can be overwhelming. At any one time, millions of crazy, wonderful people and plenty of bizarre sights and sounds compete for your attention. There are moments when you feel like everything should freeze. When you wish you could make time move slower, allowing you to finally finish all of your tasks. Or moments when you'd just like to relax and breathe. Well, you know what? You CAN make that happen - as long as you make the time to stop for a moment.

Just recently, I attended my first 'vinyasa' yoga class at Yoga To The People. Cue the start of class, and here I am -  slipping, sliding, and sweating. I wore the wrong top, which got in the way more than a few times during my downward facing dogs. But the experience was fantastic. The next day, I was sore in muscles I didn’t know I had, but I felt great about myself.

Next, I booked a Meditation class at MNDFL in Greenwich Village. With career moves going on that have been making my head spin, I've recently been in need of some quality relaxation time. So when my boyfriend suggested that I should attend a meditation class to see if it could help, I became intrigued. I wasn’t necessarily sure if the I should meant “you definitely need it!” or if he was being sincere – but I went, and I was very surprised. My body became relaxed, my mind drifted into a new level of deep thought, and I was able to control my breathing. It was a much different experience than yoga, but it emphasized the same concepts of breath, focus and being present. I came out of the class feeling like a new person.

So – why tell you my experiences?. I used to be a gym junkie who thought that only endless sets and reps would help with my anxiety and stress. I thought yoga and meditation were silly – that I would look silly doing them. But I know better now. They're not silly – they're life changing and incredibly meaningful.

 

So if you ever feel yourself wanting to try out a class, here's a very basic side-by-side look at both – I hope they help you make a life-changing decision of your own!

Yoga is the more physical of the two activities.  It can be done in many different ways and has varying degrees of difficulty - but no matter which type you choose, yoga will challenge you to achieve awareness, balance and focus. It can help strengthen and lengthen your body, allowing you to gain muscle definition and flexibility at the same time. It stimulates the mind as well, and has the potential to boost energy and endurance. And it improves blood circulation, decreases blood pressure and allows your lungs to work more efficiently.

Meditation enables you to connect directly with your mind and body. It helps you find your breath first (wait, it's not in my lungs?), then teaches you to calm your mind and stay anchored in the present moment. It's a great way to ward off stress and anxiety – though that's not all it can do. By encouraging concentration, self-awareness and acceptance, meditation can help you build self-confidence and achieve inner stability.

IG || @lori_perdi