When someone says “meditation,” a particular image probably comes to mind. You likely picture yourself sitting cross-legged on the floor, eyes closed, perhaps humming a gentle ommm now and again. If this scenario doesn’t seem appealing, you might think that meditation isn’t right for you. However, this daily practice can help almost anyone reduce stress, enhance self-awareness, combat anxiety, and simply make time for themselves. There are lots of options when it comes to meditation—including some unusual techniques that you might not know about. Read on to learn more about five unique styles of meditation.
Walking Meditation: If the thought of sitting still and being silent for a long period of time makes you feel antsy and uncomfortable, consider walking meditation instead. Also known as kinhin, walking meditation is all about bodily awareness. To practice this style of meditation, find a large, open space where you can walk continuously. (Some people like to follow a pre-set path or maze, as shown above.) Begin walking slowly, maintain good posture, take deep breaths, and allow your awareness to focus on the movement of your body.
Body Scan Meditation: Often recommended as a grounding exercise for those who suffer from anxiety, body scan meditation is an excellent practice for anyone who wants to experience a heightened sense of calm and relaxation. Also called progressive meditation, body scan meditation encourages you to slowly and thoughtfully survey your body for areas of tension, then work on allowing that tension to release. You may choose to sit or lie down during a body scan—thanks to its calming properties, many people practice this technique just before going to sleep. This audio guide is a great resource for those just getting started with body scan meditation.
Journey Meditation: When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, do you find yourself comparing flight prices, reading the latest travel reviews, and imagining your next getaway? If you love to explore the world, journey meditation might be ideal for you. In this style of meditation, you sit comfortably, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a place that you find peaceful. It might be your childhood home, a beautiful natural setting, or that tiny street in Paris you discovered on your last vacation. Slowly and quietly ‘explore’ the place in your mind, creating a calming escape from your daily routine.
Daily Life Practice Meditation: If you find it difficult to fit meditation into your daily routine, this style could be perfect for you. Daily life practice meditation focuses on slowing down your mind as you go through your everyday tasks. In this style of meditation, you perform a simple daily activity—say, folding the laundry—at half speed, and use the time to focus your thoughts and be especially mindful of your actions. Also known as Samu work meditation, this style of practice helps transform the mundane into the meaningful and allows even the busiest among us to find time to meditate.
Kundalini Yoga: If you prefer a more active style of meditation or a group practice, you might find that kundalini yoga is the right option for you. This meditative style of yoga combines active movements with deep breathing, meditation techniques, and spiritual mantras. Kundalini yoga can help you build physical strength and reduce pain while calming feelings of stress or anxiety; it’s a great fit for active people looking to adopt a more mindful lifestyle.
Have you tried out any of these techniques, or other styles of meditation? Share your experiences in the comments!
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