Meditation has been around for thousands of years and still remains relevant and widely practiced today whether for religious or wellbeing purposes. Many use this ancient practice to cool and prevent stress and anxiety by clearing the mind of clutter. It’s a wonderful, rewarding ritual to carry out and completely accessible as you can do it almost anywhere you like, whether you’re at the office, at home, at the park or on the move.
You are most likely familiar with the basic practices of meditation (cross-legged with your yes closed) but there are a plethora of different styles and techniques to get to know. These generally follow a similar pattern but are carried out with varying goals and mentalities. Here are 5 different types of meditation to experiment with that feature tips, aims and instructions.
Kundalini meditation is rooted and informed by spirituality. ‘Kundalini’ refers to an energy that is believed to be found at the base of the spine, this type of meditation aims to summon and awaken this energy in order to fuel the conscious mind, body and soul. Although there are a variety of ways in which the Kundalini meditation can be carried out, one of the most popular ways is to sit up straight, breathe in for 4 beats, breath out for 4 beats whilst applying some pressure on your belly button on every beat. It should feel like you are pulling your stomach closer to the spine to activate the momentum of this ‘energy’.
Zazen meditation is the most well-known type of practice, it has roots in Zen Buddhism and is also known as ‘seated meditation’ which gives you an idea. This practice instructs the participant to immerse themselves in the ‘present moment’ in an attempt to free the mind of judgements and goals. According to Zazen meditation, this can be achieved by tuning your focus to the natural rhythms of life such as breathing. Try it yourself. Focus on air filling your lungs as you breathe in, the air occupying your lungs as you hold it and finally the expelling of breath as you exhale. Now, do this from the classic seated position – straight back, cross-legged, one ankle above the other and arms resting on your knees. Start easy with 10 – 30-minute sessions at a time.
This is an ideal meditation for those who struggle with meditation techniques that requires the participant to focus on breathing. A ‘mantra’ is a word, sound or phrase voiced in order to adjust and tune the individual’s focus in the act of meditation. The mantra should be personally selected by the individual basing their selection on whatever sound works for them – the most common phrase is ‘aum’ or ‘om’ which is believed to be in tune with the sound of life and existence. Once you’ve found your most effective sound or phrase begin repeating it to yourself whilst meditating until you find yourself focussed and clear.
This type of meditation is easily carried out by the daydreamers out there. Gazing meditation requires the individual to shut off your mind from your surroundings by gazing and holding focus on a still object – something of the natural world is better than anything artificial (no phones, tablets of TVs!). Ease into this one as you don’t want to put too much strain on your eyes but once mastered and performed well, you should experience relief from stress and improved focus. Start with 30 second bursts and eventually work your way up to 10 minutes.
Guided Visualisation Meditation
For those with a vibrant imagination! This practice is a new, modern version and update of the more traditional meditative techniques. It requires the person to imagine themselves in calming scenarios as a means to beckon the chemicals from the brain which influences feelings of positivity. This can give you a range of benefits when harnessed – a quickly accessible place in which you can cool and relieve feelings of stress and anxiety. Just allow images to appear in your mind and build them up. Why not try it for yourself? Take a moment in a quiet place, close your eyes and imagine.
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