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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.