Some links on my website may be affiliate links and I may earn revenue from purchases as a result of buying something through those links.
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.