When we think of someone meditating our minds might conjure an image of a person sitting cross-legged, with eyes closed concentrating on stilling the mind to achieve a calm state.
However, there are many ways of meditating that are simply not reflected by this picture. This article will outline some of the different forms of meditation you can use to mix up your practice. It is also possible to mix these ways of meditating together.
One of the wonderful things about meditation is that there are many ways of practicing. This can keep your meditation practice, fresh and engaging, preventing you from becoming bored. Mixing up your meditation keeps your daily ritual interesting and can motivate you to keep going with your meditation. Some people obtain better results from one form, over another. Either way, a new method creates a new experience and you can learn a lot. You can do these meditations on your own or in a group. While listening to guided meditations, a meditation teacher or being in silence.
If your not familiar with any of the following, try them out. You never know what you will discover. Here are some alternative ways you can meditate:
(1) WALKING MEDITATION
The walking meditation is a movement meditation. You can undertake a guided walking meditation, try mindful walking meditation or combine both into a mindful guided walking meditation. You obtain both the benefits of meditation and exercise. Mindful walking involves focusing on each footstep that you take and your body. Also moving your attention to your surroundings such as the trees, birds and, water. This is a wonderful way to relax and meditate at the same time while being in motion.
Here is a fantastic video and explanation about how to walk mindfully: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09EO9IJgOiI
(2) MINDFUL BREATHING
Mindful breathing is about being aware and focused on your breath through your meditation practice. Anapanasati means “mindfulness of breathing.” This was first taught by Gautama Buddha and is the basis of many meditation practices.
Focusing on the breath creates calm and flow into your life. Slowing down the breath is a great way to prevent, and beat anxiety. Mindful breathing can teach you how to use your breath to relax, and overcome those daily stressors.
There are many guided meditations available that place the attention on the breath. You can meditate to the words of a meditation on CD and focus on the inhale and exhale of breath to create calm in your day.
(3) MEDITATION WITHIN A LABYRINTH
The difficult part about this meditation is finding a labyrinth. Though it is possible to create one. You can draw one in the sand or construct one. Alternatively, you can walk in an imaginary maze, pretending as if you are directly within one. Labyrinths represent wholeness and completeness.
While you walk through the labyrinth you can state a mantra repetitively to yourself or focus on the breath. Another way to meditate within a labyrinth is to do a walking meditation.
(4) PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION MEDITATION
This is a popular way of meditating and is often used by psychological professionals. Many guided meditations on CD are progressive relaxation meditation. This involves relaxing the body by focusing on one body part or one section of the body.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is one form of this meditation and focuses on certain muscle groups through the meditation. This is a fantastic way to meditate to release stress, anxiety, and fear.
(5) MANTRA MEDITATION
Mantra meditation is a popular form of meditation that involves repeating a word, phrase, or prayer. Japa describes the process of repetition. This is a very soothing meditation and is a popular form of meditation especially in religions such as Buddhism.
Mantra meditation helps to focus and strengthen the mind. Mantras are said to create calmness, bringing clarity and fine-honed concentration into the day.
(6) VISUALIZATION MEDITATION
Visualization meditation is a form of meditation practice that uses visualization and meditation together. You utilize the practice of creating mental images in your mind while meditating.
Guided imagery meditations are a form of visualization meditation.