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What’s the difference between relaxation and meditation?

This is a question that is often asked, and for a while, I didn’t know how to answer it. I experienced relaxation and meditation differently, but I didn’t know why. I’m glad I came across this article!

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Photo credit Pixabay

To summarise the article, some of us love the Savasana surrender and some of us love the calm clarity of meditation. We know they both feel amazing and return us to the Present, but it’s a bit like brain weight training vs brain cardio. That’s because there are neural differences between our relaxation response (post or during Savasana) and our meditation response.

When we gradually relax our bodies using our Relaxation Response (as we do in Savasana) we practice strengthening the parts of our brains that help us with direct control mechanisms.
Eg, “I won’t automatically check my phone”.

This flexes our willpower and helps us to eventually build healthier habits.

But while we use the same instructions in Mindful meditation, the outcome is different. This is because Mindfulness teaches us awareness and acceptance of what’s happening, without judgement or attempting to change anything.

Naturally, this helps us strengthen the bits of our brains associated with sensory awareness and perception.
Eg, “How is checking my phone serving me right now?”

So should you incorporate relaxation or meditation into your practice?
Try to do a bit of both. They’re both beneficial and contribute uniquely to our ability to switch off our “Flight vs Fight vs Freeze” stress response.

We offer personalised meditations to help you work towards your relaxation or mindfulness goals (or receive fortnightly guided relaxation tapes if you’ve bought a 12 Online Class Pass) to cultivate greater daily presence and stress busting brain training. Book in for a free consultation or purchase a 12 Class Pass to enjoy relaxation and mindful movement together.

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