There are many ways to partake in meditation, to clear the mind of the constant noise, to relieve stress, to release emotional and physical pain and also to gain mental clarity. Certain forms of meditation has been medically proven to lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, embody compassion, combats stress and simply makes people happier. Because there are so many different types people can meditate, the following list by Christian Bevacqua (Green Tree Meditation), Robert Piper (Huffington Post) and Jeffery Rubin (Greatist) showcases the most popular and effective of them all. Pick a few to try out and follow your own daily routine of meditating twice a day and see amazing positive results fruition!
2. Standing Meditation: Standing instead of sitting to meditate, the action of standing can actually help people suffering from lower back pain and promotes a greater sense of internal stability. Stand in a comfortable, straight posture with the feet pointing straight forward, about shoulder width apart. After settling into the position, do a quick scan of the body and mindfully release tension from the body and bring awareness to each part when doing so. Begin with five minutes and lengthen as your practice deepens.
5. Walking Meditation: In walking meditation, called kinhin in the Zen tradition, practitioners move slowly and continuously while staying aware of the body and mind. For this form of meditation, use good posture (just like seated meditation), take deep breaths, and experience the motions of the body. The walking movement should be continuous, so an open park or field would be most ideal. Children benefit most from walking meditation exercises.
9. Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique: Mata Amritanandamayi, an Indian humanitarian and spiritual leader known as “Amma” (mother) or “The Hugging Saint,” invented this practice to help people redirect energy in a positive way. Each session of IAM takes 20-30 minutes and includes postures, pranayama breathing, and meditation. Participants spend the first eight or so minutes doing yoga, followed by deep breathing and meditation. This practice lowers stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in the body.
10. Dance Meditation: Relieves tension, burns calories and allows us to physically release the negative out of the body. Dance or kundalini meditation takes that release one step farther by asking participants to forgo the ego and surrender to the rhythms and ecstasies of movement. Some classes encourage yelling, jumping, and even hollering like a wild animal.
11. Daily Life Practice Meditation: Does high-energy dance sound a bit too wacky? Bring meditation back to a more reasonable pace wit daily life practice meditation, which is also called Samu work meditation in the Buddhist Zen tradition. In this style of meditation, practitioners slow down daily activities to half-speed and use the extra time to be mindful and focus on thoughts. There’s no need to sign up for a class when it’s possible to meditate while washing dishes, taking a shower, walking down the subway steps…
12. Hand Movement Meditation: For many people, the toughest part of meditation is sitting without moving for an extended period of time. It’s so hard to resist the urge to pick at an itchy spot because scratching activates areas of the brain that control pain and compulsive behavior. The best solution to this problem is hand movement meditation where meditators concentrate on moving hands mindfully, intentionally and slowly. ?
13. Gazing/Journey/Imagery Meditation: This is a very effortless form and involves simply staring into space. Focusing inward while staring out into the open while sitting or standing is called Trataka and is said to by staring at a fixed object while sitting or standing. Trataka has many alleged benefits, from physical plusses like eye health and headache relief to mental advantages such as lower stress levels and better focus. If outdoors, fix the gaze on a natural object like a stone, tree, or even the moon (just avoid staring at the sun). Indoors, try looking at the center of a lit candle or an interactive computer graphic. Trataka can be pretty intense, so start very slowly — stare for just 15 to 20 seconds, with plenty of rest time. Eventually work up to 10 or 15 minutes.
14. Breathing Meditation: This technique takes those pre-yoga class “Oms” to the next level. Also called yogic breathing or Pranayama, this meditation style is all about controlling the inhales and exhales. Greatist Expert Dr. Jeffery Rubin explains, “Longer exhales tend to be calming, while longer inhales are energizing. For meditative purposes either the ratio of exhale to inhale is even or the exhale is longer than the inhale for a calming effect.” This type of meditation can be done anywhere, anytime (except underwater, for obvious reasons).
photo source: care2.com
Source: Greatist.com, HuffingtonPost.com, GreentreeMeditation.com