Meditation is an old practice that has been done for thousands of years. But in recent years, the numerous useful benefits of meditation have received a great deal of exposure. It helps with things like depression, anxiety, and anger, and it decreases stress and blood pressure. Here we will be covering all types of meditations that can help us in any way.
What is mediation?
The term “meditation” is used to describe a wide variety of techniques aimed at reducing stress. Meditation is a key part of many relaxation methods, and there are various relaxation techniques. Each one of them is after the same phenomenon sense of calm within themselves.
Numerous individuals resort to meditation as a technique of overcoming stress and restoring a sense of heightened awareness in a world where both are all too frequent. In addition to its potential mental health advantages, meditation has also been associated with physical health benefits. Read the all here.
Types Of Meditation.
Meditation comes in a wide variety of methods. This article focuses on the most meditation techniques and describes their features and advantages.
Buddha taught different types of meditation techniques, each tailored to achieving a certain goal or cultivating a unique mental state.
Mindfulness meditation, which has its roots in Buddhist teachings, is the Western world’s most studied and practiced kind of meditation. It entails paying attention to, or “minding,” the current moment. Simply said, mindfulness entails avoiding future or past thoughts instead of paying attention to the situation at hand.
This type of meditation can be practiced anywhere example, while doing dishes, a piece of soothing music, or walking a dog.
The American Psychological Association reports that mindfulness enhances emotional regulation in the brain by reducing amygdala activation. The amygdala is the region responsible for the “fight or flight” reflex. By modulating this stress response, it may be possible to lessen anxiety, decrease sadness, and enhance self-control.
How to Perform? To practice this form of meditation, one must be able to look at one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations without assigning them ethical standards. As they breathe deeply and regularly, the person allows feelings and ideas to pass without reacting. It can be performed without any specific seated position. Just do what’s detailed below: place, posture, practice, and problems.
Another way to practice mindfulness is to pay attention to each of your five senses. How do you feel when you press your body on the chair? There is also the option of doing a “body scan” when you systematically focus your awareness on different parts of your body.
2. Zen Meditation Technique.
Zen, or Zazen, is a Buddhist meditation that originated in China. Literally, it means “sitting meditation,” and that’s how it’s typically interpreted in the West. Focusing on one’s mind is the primary objective of Zen meditation.
The advantages of zen-type meditation on one’s body, mind, environment, soul, and emotions have been well documented through scientific study.
Researchers from 2018 revealed that Zen meditation influences brain-heart connections in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. For this purpose, it has been widely used in Taiwanese drug abuse rehabilitation programs as 10-minute Zen meditation sessions improve patients’ autonomic nervous system function.
How to perform? In most cases, the practitioner will sit on the floor, over a mat and cushion, with their legs crossed. Ensuring one’s posture is entirely erect from the hips to the neck. Your mouth should be closed, and your eyes should be cast down approximately two or three feet in front of you.
You can do it with normal breathing, feeling your nasal movements and chest expansion while counting to 10. Then start from the beginning. The other way is to remain as much as possible in the present moment, noticing everything that happens. It can also be called Effortless Meditation.
3. Loving Kindness Meditation.
Also known as Metta Meditation. The practice aims to build a heart filled with compassion for all things, even one’s antagonists and the things that cause them distress. An additional benefit of daily loving-kindness meditation may be a lessening of racial prejudice, according to research conducted in 2015.
A 7-week study demonstrated that loving-kindness meditation increases positive emotions such as love, joy, cheerfulness, appreciation, fulfillment, amusement, and even admiration. Research conducted in 2011 indicated that when this method was used in association with cognitive behavioral therapy, it effectively reduced symptoms of anger, depression, social anxiety, and marital conflict.
How to Perform? One takes a seated meditation posture, with eyes closed, and cultivates sentiments of compassion and goodwill inside oneself. After taking a few deep breaths, you repeat the phrases slowly and steadily. Practice loving-kindness first with yourself, then broaden outward to include others and all sentient beings. As a rule, it’s best to proceed in this order:
- For ownself.
- A good/positive friend.
- A neutral person.
- A difficult person.
- All the above-mentioned types of people.
- Gradually entire universe.
Hindu Types of Meditation.
Hinduism is the source of many current popular spiritual activities, like yoga and meditation. The following types of meditation are mostly used and are popular among meditators.
When referring to different types of meditation, the term “Vipassanat,” which translates to “insight” or “clear seeing,” is often used. Vipassana is an ancient Indian meditation technique that aims to help practitioners view the world as it truly is. It goes all the way back more than 2,500 years and is renowned for the mindfulness meditation movement in the United States.
Vipassana meditation strives for self-transformation via self-observation. By focusing on physical sensations in the body, you build a profound connection between mind and body.
5. Mantra Meditation Technique.
Mantras are syllables or words that are repeated to help concentrate the mind. They are often meaningless. The mind is less likely to wander to other ideas, making it simpler to focus on the words being said. By distracting yourself with the mantra, you may stop focusing on all the thoughts racing through your head and instead enter the space between them.
Mantra meditation is popular among those who would rather concentrate on a word than on their breathing, while others enjoy the feeling of vibration of sounds. This is also an excellent technique for those who dislike solitude and prefer repetition.
Some meditation instructors stress the importance of being initiated into the practice, arguing that the “vibration” connected with the sound and meaning of a phrase is important. Non-clinical samples show promise for the potential benefits of mantra meditation on mental health and negative affectivity. Another 2022 study proved that it led to small to moderate decreases in anxiety and mild to moderate mood improvement.
How to Perform? Common postures for this type of meditation include an upright spine, closed eyelids, and a relaxed mind. Throughout the whole session, the practitioner silently repeats the mantra in his head.
Among the most well-known mantras in Hinduism is as follows:
- om Namah Shivaya
You can train for a specific time or a predetermined number of “repetitions,” usually 108 or 1008. Traditionally, counting can be done with beads. After repeating the mantra for some time, you will be more aware of your surroundings and in tune with them. This enables you to experience heightened degrees of consciousness.
6. Transcendental Meditation Technique.
This type of meditation is an approach developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1955 and gained popularity in the late 60s and 70s. The aim is to achieve mental stillness and tranquility. Relaxing your body and mind via meditation allows you to experience a greater sense of serenity.
Numerous scientific research has looked at Transcendental Meditation (TM), a popular type of meditation. Similar to the advantages of mindfulness meditation, research has shown that transcendental meditation can positively affect one’s health and well-being by decreasing stress and anxiety and boosting one’s sense of well-being. Another 2014 study evaluated 40 teachers on this meditation. It was shown to alleviate stress, burnout, and depression.
How to Perform? Only trained TM instructors can instruct others in the art of this type of meditation. They will discuss various variables if they have a guide before settling on a mantra like age and gender etc. Two sessions a day of 15 to 20 minutes each is the norm for most people.
7. Yoga Meditation Technique.
Yoga has been in existence since ancient India. The practise may be broken down into the ethical guidelines known as the Yamas and Niyamas, the physical postures known as asanas, the breathing exercises known as pranayama, and the meditative disciplines known as the yamas and niyamas (pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi).
It has been hypothesised that yoga’s stress-reducing, health-promoting, mentally- and emotionally-enhancing, sleep-inducing, and equilibrium-enhancing properties may contribute to enhanced overall health. (1)(2)(3)(4)(5).
Similarly, yoga’s beneficial effects have been documented in a 2022 research cases of cardiovascular illness, metabolic problem, mental disturbance, and diabetes mellitus type 2.
Here are some of the most common versions of yoga:
i). Third Eye Meditation: This meditation technique can be used to concentrate on the area between the eyebrows, commonly referred to as the third eye.
ii). Kundalini Meditation: The primary purpose is to locate the dormant kundalini energy at the base of the spine and discover a means to activate it, so achieving enlightenment.
iii). Gazing Meditation Technique: This type of meditation is performed with the eyes open. The individual concentrates on an external body and utilises mental force to concentrate and imagine.
iv). Chakra Meditation: The practitioner concentrates on one of the seven chakras (or “energy centres”) of the body. Typically, it is performed on the heart chackra, the third eye, and the crown chackra.
While there is great diversity across yoga programmes and styles, they all have the common goal of increasing flexibility and reducing mental stress via the practise of a sequence of postures and regulated breathing techniques.
Chinese-Based Types of Meditation.
8. Chi kung Meditaion.
Qigong, also known as chi kung, is a Chinese style of meditation that functions as a therapeutic mechanism in traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese character for “life energy” (or “qi”) is pronounced chee; qigong is based on teaching its practitioners to detect and control this qi.
From breathing to metabolism, the human body is packed with involuntary processes. By being attuned to these functions and detecting the time when the heart beats quicker or breathing becomes more rapid, the practitioner may learn how to counteract these situations by instructing the body to relax. Modern biofeedback instruments operate on the same fundamental principle. According to new studies, even just 11 hours of training in a Chinese meditation technique can improve activity in the region of the brain responsible for behavioural control.
How to Perform? It can be performed either still (while sitting or standing) or via a series of flowing motions. Focus your entire being on a point two inches below your belly button called the “lower dantien,” which serves as the body’s gravitational centre. As a result, the qi can gather and become firmly established (vital energy). Concentrating on the dantien, then, allows you to draw power from this non-man-made source.
9. Tai Chi Meditation Technique.
Tai chi is a common type of meditation technique practised for both its calming mental effects and its beneficial physical effects on muscular strength. This meditation technique involves striking a succession of fluid positions. There are several subsets of Tai Chi, each concentrating on a certain goal (e.g., improved flexibility, heightened spirituality, etc.).
Tai Chi is both a mental and physical workout because of the way its slow motions promote mental concentration and body awareness. In addition to the mental and spiritual advantages one can receive from conventional meditation, the physical benefits of Tai Chi include better posture and balance, strengthened core and legs, and enhanced flexibility.
This type of meditation has been especially fond useful for alderly individuals as it improves the join pains and arthritis as well as reduces the risk of falling. But people with joint issues should consult a doctor before starting a Tai Chi routine, despite the fact that the practise is normally safe.
How to Perform?. Tai chi consists of 108 different moves. When you practise tai chi, your body and mind will benefit from the coordinated motions and breathing techniques. There is a natural progression from one tai chi form to the next. It is best guided with an instructor as without it could take more time to master the moves when practising at home.
10. Other Types Of Meditation.
Other less common yet beneficial types of meditations can be listed down as below.
- Breathing Meditation: When you practise breath awareness, you focus your attention on your breathing as you meditate. One’s attention should be strictly on one’s breathing, with any other thoughts being completely disregarded. Recent studies have shown that practising meditation while focusing on one’s breath can improve focus and brain function. Another 2017 review that managing your breathing benefits the autonomic nerve system, which regulates heart rate and digestion.
- Guided Meditation: Most forms of guided meditation only become popular in recent decades. This type of meditation involves creating mental images of pleasant settings or experiences, and is also known as guided imagery or visualisation. It can be an audio like soothing sounds or your instructor. You put out effort to take in as much smell, visual, audio, and sensory details as possible. A guide or instructor may be there to help you through this. Imagining yourself achieving certain goals is another sort of visualisation meditation technique that is supposed to boost concentration and motivation.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Progressive relaxation, often called body scan meditation, is an approach to stress reduction and overall well-being. This type of meditation typically entails progressively tightening and relaxing every muscle in the body. Some suggest imagining a wave flowing over one’s body to relieve stress. It has been found beneficial for relief of chronic pain.
- Walking Meditation Technique: Also known as kinhin in the Zen Tradition, this meditation technique is a type of mindfulness practise in which, rather than concentrating on the breath, the practitioner is instructed to pay attention to each step as it is taken. To do so, one must develop a conscious awareness of one’s own feet as they move, taking note of the moment when one foot is lifted, then lowered, and finally comes to rest on the earth. It was found in 2013 research that 10 minutes a day of mindful walking reduced stress and anxiety and improved quality of life.
- Daily Life Practice Meditation: Samu Work Meditation (or Daily Life Practice Meditation) is a form of Zen meditation that emphasises mental rather than physical discipline. Just cut your natural pace in half and make an effort to be more mindful as you go about your day. Do this when you’re out and about, or while you’re in the shower, cooking, or cleaning.
How much time does it requires meditation to show ist effects? Many people claim to feel better right away after a meditation session. But the vast majority of studies suggest that meditation has a speedy effect. (1)(2)(3)
True meditation techniques help us develop our latent powers for joy and insight. Finding a method of meditation that suits your needs is the first step toward greater mental and physical wellness. The great thing about meditating is that you can do it whenever and wherever suits you. You may combine several types of meditation to suit your needs and preferences.
Effective meditation technique requires instructions that are both clear and gradual. combining meditation with a daily routine — like brushing your teeth or taking a shower — might help you stay up with your practise and incorporate it into your life and to Prime with Time!