Meditation is a simple practice that is performed to reduce stress, increase calmness, and promote happiness. If you want to learn how to meditate, it is a straightforward process, and its benefits come quickly if it is done in a proper way. Simply take a deep breath and be ready to relax.
When you pay attention to your breath, you will learn how to return to it and remain in the same situation for more time. You must know that meditation is not a cure at all, instead, it provides some needed space in your life and makes your body capable enough to deal with general health issues.
It makes you able to make better choices for yourself, your family, and your community. The most important thing here is that you need to have a little patience for your meditation practice and get a comfortable place to sit.
When you meditate, it means you are injecting long-lasting benefits into your life. Additionally, you need not get into an expensive membership.
Types of Meditation
Nine popular types of meditation practice are:
- mindfulness meditation
- spiritual meditation
- focused meditation
- movement meditation
- mantra meditation
- transcendental meditation
- progressive relaxation
- loving-kindness meditation
- visualization meditation
- Mindfulness meditation
This is one of the types of meditation which originated from Buddhist teachings. It is also one of the most popular meditation practices in the West. In this type of meditation, you have to pay attention to the thoughts that pass through your mind. You don’t have to judge the thoughts or need to be involved with those thoughts. Just observe and pay attention to any patterns.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice in which the combination of concentration with awareness is involved. It is quite helpful in focusing on an object or on your breath while observing your thoughts or feelings. No worries if you don’t have an expert to teach you how to meditate. Mindfulness meditation is an easy practice that can be done alone.
- Spiritual meditation
This type of meditation is commonly performed in Eastern religions and the Christian faith. Spiritual meditation is similar to prayer, in which you experience the silence around you and get a deeper connection with God.
For spiritual meditation, essential oils are used to enhance the spiritual experience. Some of the common options are sage, cedar, sandalwood, and palo santo. You can practice this meditation at home or any place of your worship. This meditation is quite beneficial for people who thrive in silence and look for spiritual growth.
- Focused meditation
This type of meditation involves concentration with the help of any of the five senses, sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Like, you can pay attention to something internal, such as your breath, or you can take the help of external influences to pay your attention.
The best way is to start counting your mala beads, listening to a gong, or you can stare at a candle flame to pay attention to. No doubt, this meditation can be simple in theory, but performing focused meditation for beginners can be hard to hold the focus for longer than just a few minutes in the beginning.
If you notice that you are unable to focus on something, it is very important to make yourself focused by coming back to the practice. As per the name, this meditation is perfect for those who want to add focus to their life.
- Movement meditation
Many people think of yoga when they hear movement meditation. It is an active form of meditation in which you have to walk through woods, gardening, qigong, and practice other forms of motion gently.
Movement meditation is one of the suitable types of meditation for people who want to have peace in action and want their minds to wander.
- Mantra meditation
If you want to know how to meditate using mantras, which are teachings in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, you need to practice mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you have to listen to the repetitive sound of some mantras to clear your mind. These mantras can be anything, like a word, phrase, or any sound. One of the popular mantras in mantra meditation is ‘Om’.
No matter whether you are listening to loud or quiet mantras, after chanting the mantras for a few minutes, you will notice more alertness and find these mantras in tune with your environment. You will be able to experience deeper levels of awareness.
Some people practice this type of meditation as they find it easier to focus on words rather than on breath. If you don’t like silence and enjoy repetition, you must practice mantra meditation.
- Transcendental meditation
It is another one of the popular types of meditation and is based on various studies. In transcendental meditation, you can use a mantra or a series of words depending on each practitioner.
This type of meditation is suitable for those who love structure and want to pay full concentration on maintaining a meditation practice.
- Progressive relaxation
Another name for this type of meditation is body scan meditation. This meditation is practiced to reduce stress and tension in the body and promote relaxation. In this type of meditation, you can experience a slow tightening and relaxation of one muscle group at one time all through the body.
In some cases, you may also be able to imagine a gentle wave flowing throughout your body, which in turn helps you release any tension. You must practice this form of meditation to get relief from stress and unwind before going to bed at night.
- Living-kindness meditation
If you wonder how to meditate to strengthen your feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance in one way or another, you must practice this form of meditation. In this meditation, you experience the opening of your mind towards others, and you will receive love from others.
Loving-kindness meditation is an ideal meditation practice for people who hold feelings of anger or resentment.
- Visualization meditation
This form of meditation enables you to focus on improving your feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by making you capable of visualizing positive images or scenes on the opposite side. You must use all five senses to get into the position to add as much detail as possible.
Another type of visualization meditation is to imagine yourself getting success at specific goals. As a result of this, you will be able to increase your focus and motivation. You must practice this type of meditation to boost your mood, reduce your stress, and promote your inner peace.
How to Meditate?
Meditation is simpler as well as a harder practice than most people think. It means it is not as hard as some people think and also not as simple as other people think. Just read these steps and ensure that you have a relaxed space to get into this process. Set a timer and get into a shot.
- Take a seat
The first step is to find a peaceful place where you can practice meditation.
- Set a time limit
If you are a beginner, you must set a time limit to get into this process. Just prefer to choose a short time in the beginning, something like five or ten minutes.
- Notice your body
It is very important to notice your position, and you should be in a comfortable position. You can choose to sit in a chair and keep your feet on the ground. You can also choose to sit in a relaxed position by keeping a loose cross-legged. Just ensure that you must be stable, and you can easily stay in the same position for a while.
- Feel your breath
Now, start breathing in and out. Start focusing on your breath, and follow its sensation as your breath goes in and goes out.
- Notice when your mind starts wandering
In some cases, you may experience that you have lost your attention and leaving your breath, and your mind starts wandering to other places. When you notice this condition, even for a few seconds, you must try to return your attention to your breath.
- Be kind to your wandering mind
Never take this situation aggressively or negatively. Also, never judge yourself when you found yourself in a situation when your mind wanders. Just calm down and try to come back.
- Close with kindness
Now, when you and your body are ready, gently open your eyes and try to notice any sounds in the environment. Start noticing how your body is feeling right now. You must also keep a check on your thoughts and emotions.
That’s all! Many times, you go away, and in the next second, you come back. You must try to learn how to meditate as kindly as possible.
Benefits of Meditation
There are numerous benefits of meditation. These include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce stress
- Reduce anxiety
- Decrease pain
- Relieve depression
- Improve sleep
- Connect better
- Improve focus
- Improve blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- More feelings of well-being
- Deeper relaxation
People who follow meditation on a regular basis may experience all of these benefits of meditation in their lives.
Some researchers are focused on exploring whether daily meditation can give long-term benefits. They are also noticing whether it brings positive effects on the brain and immune system in the practitioners.
As per Buddhist philosophy, the main benefit of meditation is the liberation of the mind. Here, it is connected to the things that a mind cannot control, such as strong internal emotions. It also helps in maintaining a calm mind and a sense of inner harmony.
What is Yoga Meditation?
When you think of yoga, the first thing that comes to your mind is a physical practice, in which you have to move through yoga poses and practice yoga breathing. But, here, meditation is involved in the act of focusing your mind while being a part of a well-rounded yoga experience.
If you want to learn how to meditate in yoga, you need to be involved in more than sitting still for a few minutes every day. Yoga meditation is about silencing a busy mind that is moving through a barrage of thoughts and worries.
Always keep in mind that if you are able to quiet your thoughts for more time through yoga meditation, you will be able to experience a sense of true presence more. When you get into this moment, you will get all the benefits of the mind-body connection that yoga is known for.
How to meditate in yoga
It is very important to practice regularly to get a successful meditation. But, if your yoga instructor or teacher has set a time for meditation, then getting into this moment can be quite challenging, especially if you are a yoga beginner or you have been taking your yoga classes for a while.
Do you know that serious yogis spend a lifetime improving their art of meditation? So, don’t pressurize yourself to be perfect in your meditation technique after just attending a few meditation sessions. Have patience as it may take time.
Yoga meditation for beginners
The best and easy method to learn how to meditate is to ‘focus on here and now. When you are aware of being in the moment, there will be no chance to be pulled towards distractions about the past or future. Getting into the moment makes you very free.
You must start with active meditation, where you have to focus your thoughts on something specific. The main idea here is that you have to streamline your attention only one time at once, such as breathing or constantly staring at a candle flame.
When you try out a meditation technique for the first time, you must be prepared when your mind wanders sometimes. When you notice that your thoughts are distracting your moment, just redirect your mental focus back to the current moment.
You have to follow these steps to practice yoga meditation.
- You must choose a set time of a day when you can meditate without any interruption. Set a time of just a few minutes at first.
- You need to sit with good pressure on the floor cross-legged or you can sit in a chair, whatever is more comfortable for you.
- Just gaze at a simple object such as any dot on the wall or on a piece of paper or just a candle flame. Another way is to close your eyes and chant the ‘Om’ mantra on the rhythm of your yoga breathing.
- When you become familiar with how to meditate, you can increase your practicing time by a minute or two at a time.
- To avoid any frustration, always keep in mind that meditation is not about achieving a blank mind; rather, it is about fighting against the reactions to the thoughts that do interrupt your mind.
Whether you want to reduce stress or find spiritual enlightenment, you have meditation practice for each situation. Never be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and try different types of meditation. This will help you find the one that fits you and your needs the best.
This guide will help you a lot to know more about meditation and how to meditate properly. Always remember that regular practice makes you positive, calm, comfortable, and enjoyable.