10 Types of Meditation Practices for Beginners and Advanced Yogis
There are many styles and techniques when it comes to meditation. For some, the practice can be very intimidating; the idea of sitting for long periods of time trying to relax the mind and body seems a bit daunting. However, there are practices that are accessible to just about anyone. They are simple and can be done just about anywhere and anytime. Let's take a look at a variety of meditation practices to see what might be suitable for your needs and lifestyle.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
This style of meditation has grown to be quite popular in recent years. It can also be a good introduction to the practice of meditation. Based on Buddhist teachings, it is a method of meditation that helps calm your mind, center your thoughts, and relieve mental tension. The basic technique involved with this form of meditation is being aware of your breath and your passing thoughts. It's a practice of not placing judgements on the thoughts that you have. As you can observe your thoughts in this way, there is a mental calming that allows for you to live happier with a greater sense of clarity.
2. Loving-Kindness Meditation
This is a beautiful meditative practice. Also called Metta Meditation, this style pays close attention to directing your feelings and thoughts. In the practice, not only do you focus on yourself and your personal needs, but you also focus on other people you may know or not know. In the exercise, you may direct healing and strength, for example, toward someone you love as well as someone you may consider your enemy. It's about spreading this abundant nature of love to all. As a result, you also experience love and joy in your own life.
3. Vipassana Meditation
This meditative technique, which also derives form the Buddhist tradition, is similar to the Mindfulness Meditation practice. This ancient exercise takes you a bit deeper into the awareness of your thoughts. Just as you continue to focus on your breathing, be aware of the thoughts, emotions, and sounds that arise. As these sensations enter your mind's eye, rather than clinging to them, simply label them. Give them a very simple name; for example, a singing bird is "music" or a sad thought is "thinking." Once you've given the sensation a simple name, it makes it easier to let it go with your next exhale.
4. Candle Gazing
This simple, yet ancient style of meditation, allows you to focus on an object. In this case, it is a candle flame. While sitting comfortably, you'll gaze at a candle flame for several seconds without blinking. You'll take a short break to close your eyes, then start another round of gazing. This practice is said to "cure eye diseases." Perhaps not literally, but it is a way to help clear your mind's eye so that you can see and think with greater clarity.
5. Zazen (Zen) Meditation
In this technique, you will be highly focused on three elements while practicing this style of meditation: your posture, your breath, and your state of mind. Zen Meditation has a defined set of standards for it to be a fulfilling practice for you. You'll sit in a particular style with your legs crossed, preferably on a comfortable Zafu Meditation Pillow. With your eyes closed, you'll focus on your breath (you will breathe through your nose.) You can even count your slow breaths in order to stay in the present moment. As you sit in stillness, pay attention to any thoughts that enter your mind. If they are distracting thoughts, clear them with each exhale. Your state of mind should focus on calm and ease in your mind and body.
6. Walking Meditation
This is a lovely way to meditate. It gets you up and moving if it is a challenge for you to meditation in complete stillness. With this technique, the focus is not on getting somewhere; there is no destination when you do a walking meditation. The idea is to be more aware of your breath and the slow intentional movement of your body. Pay attention to the sensations within you as you move. You can do this meditation inside or outside.
7. Body Scan Meditation
You can do this meditative practice lying down on your cork yoga mat. For more comfort, place a yoga blanket or yoga towel on top. While lying still with your eyes closed, you will do a simple assessment of your entire body. You will begin with your feet and move up the limbs, through your torso, down your arms, and eventually to the top of your head. The idea is to notice if you're experiencing any tension in your body. If you are, you can release that tension with an exhale - a symbol of the release of the undesired sensation. The goal is to feel completely relaxed.
8. Pranayama & Breath Awareness
Although the focus here is on the breath, it is a wonderful way to practice meditation. Since you are paying attention to the breath, it helps to alleviate other distracting thoughts. What makes this technique different is that you're creating a breath control that really needs your full attention. For example, in 3-Part Breathing, you must pay close attention to first bringing breath into your low belly, then into the mid-section of your torso, then up toward your heart. You will exhale in reversed order. There are many pranayama exercises all of which help stimulate the Prana, or the Life Force, that dwells within you.
9. Chakra Meditation
If you're familiar with the seven chakras, this will be a nice meditation for you. The chakra system is an energetic line that runs from the base of the spine through the crown of your head. Each energy center has it's own color, sound, symbol, and a multitude of other meanings. Breathing into each of these centers can help you to stimulate the benefits of these regions to bring alignment and greater awareness.
10. Nada Meditation
This style of meditation calls for concentrating on external sounds. This could be ambient music that you're playing softly on your stereo, or you may also do this meditation in nature, listening to the sounds of running water, the breeze rustling through the leaves of a tree, or listening to the singing birds. Just as in Candle Gazing, it gives you something to focus on. As you tune into these sounds, you thereby clear your mind of obstacles and burdens that can overtake your consciousness.
How Maji Sports Can Help You
These are just a few of the many styles of meditation that you can practice. Many date back to ancient times while some have been revised in our modern era to accommodate our current lifestyle. Maji Sports is dedicated to helping you live your best life. We create high quality yoga, fitness, and meditation products to guide you toward that intention. Because many of these meditative practices ask you to sit comfortably in stillness, it is only fitting that we design meditation pillows to enhance your experience. Using the Zafu Meditative Pillow is ideal for your deep meditation sessions. You can easily find the perfect size and shape that will support a crossed legged or Lotus Yoga Pose position. All of our products are made with quality materials to make your meditation practice deeply meaningful.
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