Meditation has been the mindfulness star of the 21st century, but especially so now. During stressful times, meditation holds the key for mindfulness, calm and relaxation. We’ve taken a look at the science behind meditation and the meditation practices of industry icons — but which meditation type suits you best?
Understanding the types of meditation
Meditation comes in varying shapes and forms. In general, different meditation types target different emotions and goals, and tend to have different procedures. For example, a person looking for meditation to ease pain will practice a different form of meditation from someone looking for a mindful rebalancing of her thoughts.
#1: Body scan meditation
Body scan meditation is a meditation type that is targeted to individuals who wish to ease pain or tension in their bodies. Some practices require the individual to tense and then relax different parts of the body, while other practices encourage the use of visualization to ease tension.
How it works: Start either at the top of your body or from the tips of your toes. Tense each muscle, bit by bit, and work your way across your body while taking deep breaths. Alternatively, just visualize thick warmth oozing through your body, from top to bottom. This process encourages relaxation and calm.
#2: Zen meditation
Zen meditation is a well-loved meditation type with hundreds of years worth of history. One of its most popular practitioners in the western world was Steve Jobs. This rising adoption of zen meditation in the western world can be attributed to its ability to relieve stress in our hectic 21st-century lifestyles.
How it works: Find a comfortable position to sit in. Focus on taking deep breaths and close your eyes if it helps you centre yourself. Allow your thoughts to run wild and non-judgmentally observe your various thought processes.
#3: Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a more modern meditation type that has been adapted from a range of classic meditation practices. It encourages clarity, a sense of presence, and self-awareness. It’s been found that Mindfulness meditation can reduce negative sentiments, improve focus, enhance memory and improve overall happiness.
How it works: Mindfulness meditation, at its most disciplined form, resembles zen meditation. You should sit, focused, and simply observe your thoughts. Alternatively, mindfulness meditation doesn’t have to be practised like conventional meditation. You can practice it while brushing your teeth, walking to the bus stop or taking a break at work. All you have to do is take a moment to observe and acknowledge a mundane, mindless task. Be aware, be present and be mindful.
Countless other meditation types
Breath awareness meditation, Kundalini yoga, resting awareness meditation, mantra meditation… There are countless other meditation types that you can try out. Experiment, give them a try and keep an open mind!
Meditation types and exploring the mind
Whichever meditation type you choose, it should help you explore your mind. During this quarantine period, try out meditation types you’ve never encountered! Hop onto Youtube and explore new mindfulness practices you’ve never considered before. Taking this time off to think clearly, manage your emotions and get more in touch with your inner self.