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For the most part, people know all of the benefits of meditation but most people don’t realize that there are many different types of meditation. For a long time, I thought it was only the sit-down and shut your eyes type. I was surprised to learn about the variety of options when practicing meditation.
Benefits of Meditation
I covered quite a few benefits of meditation in this Meditation Techniques article. Just to recap some of the benefits of meditation include:
- lower blood pressure
- improved blood circulation
- lower heart rate
- less perspiration
- slower respiratory rate
- less anxiety
- improved moods
- decreased stress and more
“Think of your mind like a flowing river. On the surface, a river flows the fastest and is broken up by waves and currents. But if you dive deeper, the waves disappear and the current is slower. Finally, at the bottom, where the water meets the riverbed, the current may be nearly motionless. The mind is like that, yet we identify only with its active, fast-moving surface. What lies deeper can’t be accessed by thought. You must allow your mind to see its own quiet, to return to its own source. When you start meditation, it’s going to take a little while for you to learn how to swim in the deeper currents of that river.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Types of Meditation
Since I struggled with meditation for so long, I was overjoyed to learn about some other meditation techniques. Here are a few of my favorite types of meditation:
Guided meditation occurs when someone is talking you through the meditation. This is my favorite as it’s easier for me to concentrate when someone is guiding me. It can be a vivid and imaginative story. It can be a reminder of a special person in your heart. There are literally tons of ideas. This is very popular with cell phone apps. You can generally see the length of time of the meditation early on and then choose which one suits you based on your available time. You can also take advantage of guided meditations as local yoga studios and meditation workshops, etc. My favorite app is Headspace: Meditation.
meditation while walking
When our Yoga Instructor introduced me to meditation while walking, my mind was blown. We simply walked around the park for about 10 minutes and focused on nothing but what we saw at the moment. As I generally have a restless mind, I was so surprised at how easily I was able to live in the present and only think about what I could see. I quickly started appreciating everything. It was like a game of I-SPY. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed so many things in such a short amount of time before. It was very eye-opening as you give your often overworked mind the ability to relax.
Progressive relaxation, sometimes called body scan meditation, is a meditation practice that encourages you to scan your body for areas of tension. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release. During a progressive relaxation session, you start at one end of your body, like your feet, and work through the whole body. Some forms of progressive relaxation require you to tense and then relax muscles. Others encourage you to visualize a wave, drifting over their body to release tension. Progressive relaxation can help to promote generalized feelings of calmness and relaxation.
There are tons and tons of additional types of meditation. These are just a few of my favorites that I learned about recently. Comment below on what is your favorite type of meditation.
I love to meditate! I’ve started doing it on days when I do not practice yoga.
Wow Maria, I never knew that there were so many variations when it comes to meditation. Like you I always thought that the sit-down and close your eyes type is the only one that existed. Out of interest what is the sit-down and close your eyes type called?
I have been practicing meditation for over a month now and I have to say that I already feel the difference. I am more calm, more focused, and less anxious than ever before. It is really amazing what you can do to your body with just the power of your mind.
Love meditation! It has been a daily practice in my life for almost 4 years, thanks for the tips.
I’ve tried meditating and it was amazing. Life gets so busy and just by meditating refreshes mind body and soul. I need to get back on it. Thanks for the reminder
Hi Maria! I first learned to meditate when I was 12! It really does help anxiety and has always helped me to relax! Thanks for sharing!
Very interesting article..good information… meditation certainly helps…
People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
This is great post Maria! I have been meditating with my husband for over a year now in the morning and at night time and I do feel it really helped my stress and anxiety problem that I was having. Great share!
I didn’t realise there were so many different forms of meditation. From the examples you have provided here, my favorite would be ‘meditation while walking’. I love doing hikes in nature among natural beauty and peaceful settings and meditating in that environment would be a lovely option.
This is a great resource. Everyone needs to find a way to relax and center themselves. I’m happy I found this!
I use progressive meditation to help with my anxiety. It helps me focus and relax my body as I do that I’m also able to relax my mind and stop my thoughts from going wild. Great post for anyone looking to get into meditation.
I have always wanted to learn meditation but always fail as my mind is like a little monkey keep thinking about the past and future such as what should I eat for lunch later. I do learn a little of meditation during my yoga lesson but I guess I still have to learn about the true techniques.
I actually did yoga yesterday. We did the progressive meditation. It really worked. I’m going to keep doing it.
I haven’t really gotten into meditating, but we did try it for my son when we were trying to get him to go to sleep on his own. There was an app (can’t remember which one) that had several guided meditation videos that focused on breathing and imagination and he would fall asleep on his own each time. I know there are great benefits of it, but I never remember to try.
I have never done any kind of meditation, but I have a lot of stress and it would be nice to find some ways to relax and clear my mind.
I learned some new forms of meditation that I didn’t know existed! I’m interested in trying guided meditation to get me going. I also like the idea of walking meditation.
i do my best to mediate every day
I don’t intentionally do anything to relax but definitely should. These are all great methods and I really enjoyed learning about the differences.
I usually do guided meditation so I can have some direction. I never knew there was walking meditation.