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World’s Worst Meditator Uncovers 5 Meditation Styles That You Need to Discover Today!

World’s Worst Meditator Uncovers 5 Meditation Styles That You Need to Discover Today!

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I’m not going to lie to you. I’m no meditation expert, guru or even dabbler of the art. In fact, I downright suck when it comes to meditation. I fidget, so in true meditation style, I try to accept my fidgeting. I fall asleep, so again, I try accepting my need for sleep. I have thoughts come into my head, and these too, I try to accept. I listen to suggestions about letting go and going within but hey, that’s what got me to this point. You feeling me?!

So when I was recently challenged to do just 5 minutes a day, I could hear my yoga teacher’s deeply meditative voice breathing down my back saying, “you got this”.

“No girl, I aint got this.” I want to retort. What is it within me that rejects this limitless, time-hath- no-boundaries practice?   

Always one up for a challenge however I cave and decide to embark on a meditation adventure. Who know there could be so many different types? Read on to find out which you’re most suited to.

  1. Transcendental Meditation (TM)
    Ok so I had heard about this one. Didn’t know what it was about but do I still score brownie points? I think so.

    Apparently I have heard about it for a reason. It’s the most popular type of meditation according to Dr Google. And the most scientifically studied. It can be adapted to suit the individual, using a mantra or series of words specific to the person delivering the practice.

    It’s for those that prefer structure and the goal is a state of enlightenment. Somehow I feel this is not the right type of meditation for my naive soul.

  2. Kundalini Meditation
    Another type of meditation that I have heard of, but my limited knowledge is well, limited. As I draw blanks on what it actually is, all I can see in my ‘mind’s eye’ is a picture in what at the time was called a ‘new-age’ newspaper, of a relationship expert, albeit one with a high sexual energy, claiming that Kundalini will fix any faltering relationship.

    Apparently however it is so much more than a sexual tool. Kundalini focuses on the rising stream of energy within the body. With roots in Buddhism and Hindu principles, the term Kundalini translates into the word ‘coil’. Part of Kundalini yoga and meditation’s sole purpose is to awaken the Kundalini energy present at the base of the spine, wherein our power lays, coiled snake-like.

    The energy must be beckoned or metaphorically drawn up the spine from the base chakra, through all seven chakras in total, up to and including the chakra that resides above the head.   

    This energy is purported to have a purifying action, helping to rid the body of disease and provoking a deeper awareness of self. This form of meditation can lead to supreme bliss.

    Sound too good to be true? I love the idea of an energy so strong that it can lead to profound consciousness, though it is a little ‘woo-woo’ for my conservative Capricornian self. On to meditation #3….  

  3. Mantra Meditation
    Also known as Vedic meditation and prominent in many teachings, this type of meditation originates from traditions and religions including Hinduism and Buddhism.

    The repetitive use of words, phrases or sounds seek to clear the mind, with one of the most popular mystic syllables reverberating around the country in yoga studios here, there and everywhere, “om” or its enlightened cousin, “om namah shivayah”, which roughly translates to “I bow to my inner self”.

    This meditation style is useful for those who find it difficult to focus on their breath, for those that dislike silence and for the (meditative) beboppers who enjoy a little bit of repetition here and there.

    Hmmm this is sounding more like my style of meditation. I start to feel a glimmer of hope in not drifting off to the land of nod where fairies sprinkle me with sleeping dust made of blue and pink glitter. In fact, I might be so bold as to say we’re heading down the right path now.

  4. Visualisation Meditation
    Perfect for manifesting your heart’s desires into reality or imagineering something into existence, this meditation style caters to all walks of life and with so many different themes and teachers, will never leave you listlessly walking away from class.

    This newer technique is not only good for personal development, it can also aid stress release and foster spiritual healing. Indeed, using the principles of relaxation and reflecting on positive experiences, guided visualisations have their place in positive psychology, helping the body to release feel-good chemicals. The key to a powerful experience is in the teacher and having a guide take you from one place to another.

    Despite my earlier qualms of too much ‘woo’ for my Capricornian mind (flash-back to Method Numero Due, Kundalini Meditation), this type of meditation is appealing, most likely as it seems somewhat of an adventure, where I am taken from one place to another and most of all, I am guided along the way. I’m not convinced it’s a ‘true’ form of meditation, whatever that even means, but I am starting to think I need to give meditation another crack.

Moving Meditation
Also known as Walking Mediation, this type of meditation caters to people like me! (Cue excitement, an ounce of trepidation and potential awakened bliss). Though it sounds like exercise, this type of mindful meditation isn’t quite that. There is no heart-pounding music, no fast dashes and no fancy HIIT stops on the pavement to up your heart rate. Instead, it involves walking through the woods, gardening, gentle stretching and other similar low-impact exercises. In essence, it’s performing meditation where you are guided as to what movement you perform. It’s placing your attention on the sights, smells and sounds around you. And most of all, it’s tuning in to your heart rate and becoming slow and deliberate.

Not quite the meditation I thought it was, but I think maybe just maybe, I really can give this one a go as I already do a variant of it as I hang out my washing, as I wash the dishes and as I stroll through my garden.

Perhaps I’m not that much of a meditation dud after all.  

Author: Samantha Kirton

Author: Samantha Kirton

 
 

The Power of Meditation

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The Power of Meditation

For thousands of years, cultures all over the world have used forms of meditation to promote inner wellness and healing. It turns out that our ancestors were on to something! Spiritual leaders, therapists, and scientists can now agree that meditation has real, quantified benefits for a variety of problems. Over the last few decades, research around meditation, the brain, and negative symptoms have shown some incredible effects.

 

MRI scans of active meditators have actually documented how meditation changes the brain. To put it simply, our brains have neurological pathways that physically change with our thought patterns. If you imagine consciousness as a wide open “field” that can be walked in any direction, repetitive thoughts actually wear neurological “paths” that act like shortcuts. If these thoughts are focused on pain/negativity/anxiety/etc, the brain may find itself treading down these shortcuts over and over again, because they are literally the path of least resistance. Meditation essentially helps the brain wear alternative trails in the “field”, making it easier to focus on positivity, calmness, or other objectives. Like exercise, the new pathways get stronger with practice.

 

This research has real-world consequences. In particular, pain doctors looking for alternatives to opiates and other narcotic medication have been exploring the power of meditation for their patients; meditation has now emerged as a legitimate treatment option. Studies have documented how mindfulness meditation in particular can actually reduce physical discomfort by changing neurological pathways. With instruction and practice, this type of meditation can be a useful way to ease pain or discomfort, especially in the case of chronic pain. Mindfulness training can physically help the brain dampen pain signals without the risks associated with heavy-duty pharmaceuticals; it can be used on its own or as a way to reduce reliance on pain medicine.

 

Besides its usefulness for pain, research has also shown that meditation is a proven way to help with:

  • PTSD and phobias

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Decreasing heart rate and blood pressure

 

If you’re looking to harness the incredible possibilities of meditation for your own brain, where should you start? There are literally dozens of types of meditation techniques for all skill levels. Some of the most popular (and accessible) techniques are mindfulness, active meditation, or guided meditation.

Mindfulness sounds deceptively easy: it involves learning to “sit with” and observe thoughts as they come in the moment. Instead of trying to control thoughts, mindfulness focuses on simply accepting things as they are in the present moment. Sometimes essential oils, cold water, or other environmental cues are used to help the practitioner stay focused.

Active meditation is like it sounds: it helps the practitioner focus on physical movement as a way to stay in the present moment. Walking meditation is most common, but other movement like yoga, running, or even gardening can serve the same purpose.

Guided meditation can be done with a teacher or at home with a podcast or app. Because there are prompts to help with focus, guided meditation is a great way for beginners to learn how to calm and quiet their minds.   

 

Whether you’re looking to address a specific concern or just want to increase your happiness, meditation is an incredibly powerful tool to add to your wellness arsenal. The best part is that it’s free and can be practiced anywhere; there’s no better time than now to try it out for yourself.

Author: Natalie Millis

Author: Natalie Millis

 

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