9 Different Types Of Meditation And Their Benefits
Meditation is often described as a practice that brings peace, calmness, positivity, and improves concentration. People take up meditation in their daily practice to transform their physical and mental well-being.
The beauty of this practice is that it can be taken up by everyone and anyone. Day-to-day life we go through a lot of ups and downs, feeling stressed, anxious, worry and many other negative things. With the help of mediation it eliminates these feelings. Let us understand how meditation works and what are the various types and benefits.
What Meditation Is All About
Meditation requires a lot of concentration and attention. When practiced effectively, then you will surely benefit from it. This practice is going to make you a better version of you. Our brain is in constant motion, & thoughts, and while a person meditates, it shuts all those extra voices, worries, and thoughts and takes you to a very attentive state of mind.
We can describe meditation also as a greatest form of art. There is no right or wrong in this practice, meditative state of mind can be achieved absolutely anywhere. It is your will and mind that allows you to get into the zen mode. You could be listening to soothing music and feel in a meditative state of mind, you could be around nature and feel the calmness, or you could be even watching your loved one’s face and feel good.
Without trying how meditation can benefit you, you won’t know. In order to learn any skill, you start practicing and then excel in it, similarly, even in meditation; you will not know how your mind and body reacts to it unless you try it. Be in that endless solitude state of mind and get lost in your own self.
Different Types Of Meditation And Its Benefits
1. Mantra Meditation
In mantra meditation we simply choose a word or a phrase that we feel we can connect strongly to, and chant that repeatedly. Mantra meditation is a self-affirmation or a chant that is an excellent approach to a form of meditation for maybe a few minutes or as long as you want.
There are some words or chants that one can opt for – om (hindu practice), nam myoho renge kyo (Japanese Buddhist practice), I will achieve this, I am worthy, I am grateful, etc.
If you are new to any kind of meditation then always start slowly. Give it one minute of your day, and then slowly once you get into the routine and habit, you can increase the duration of your meditation. Get into a comfortable posture or position in your house, and empty your mind from all the negative thoughts. If during this time you get distracted which is bound to happen, don’t get disheartened and let your efforts go to waste, get back into the flow and start again. If you are comfortable reciting the mantras loudly, then this is another excellent way to build concentration, if not, then you can recite these words softly too.
Benefits of Mantra Mediation
The benefits of mantra meditation are endless. From awakening your spiritual side to being aware of your mental well-being, there are plenty. But, let us look at 4 important ones on how mantra mediation can benefit you –
- You will experience a calm version of yourself
- State of deep inner peace
- Improves focus and concentration
- Scientifically proven vibrations and energy
2. Transcendental Meditation
This form of practice is taught by certified instructors. Transcendental Meditation is all about closing your eyes and being in a seated position twice a day for minimum 20 minutes. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (“Maharishi”) is the founder of the Transcendental Meditation technique. This form of practice brings in bundles of energy, inner happiness, creativity and instant charge of mind and body.
Integrate the qualities you experience during Transcendental meditation practice and experience how your life shifts. A mixture of breathing and chanting mantra will be a part for this wonderful practice. If you have any kind of health concerns, always consult your instructor and discuss how you can pursue this meditation.
Benefits of Transcendental Meditation
Every type of meditation will have its own unique qualities and benefits, but at the end of the day we must do what we are most comfortable in and what makes us happy. Transcendental Meditationcan benefit you in various ways, to name a few –
- Better sleep
- Lowers risk of heart problems
- Away from stress and anxiety
3. Progressive Relaxation
Human body goes through a lot of stress, chronic pain, work pressure, feeling lethargic etc. Our body has its ways of showing signs of dullness, weakness or over exertion. But, many of us tend to ignore the signs and move on with our daily chores and errands. In the long run all these create major issues and take longer to heal as we grow old. It is very important that we stop neglecting our health and make it a priority.
Now, what do we understand by Progressive Relaxation? It is a simple practice of tightening your muscle and relaxing to release tension.
This form of practice gives us relief from various problems like high blood pressure, frequent headaches, digestive issues etc. You can practice this technique either seated or lying down, with comfortable clothing and in a quiet place that will be free of all distractions. Your step one will be inhaling and contracting one muscle group for 5-10 seconds and exhale with the sense of releasing the tension, rest for 20 second before you move on to the next muscle group or pain.
Benefits of Progressive Relaxation
While you practice Progressive Relaxation, try and imagine that with every contraction you are letting go of all that stress and pain out of your body. Visualizing or allowing you to relax is the best way to feel more relaxed. Some of the benefits of doing so are –
- Blood pressure
- Post cancer treatment and lot more
4. Loving-Kindness Meditation
We often tend to neglect the term self-love and self-care. We are so caught up in our lives that we forget to love ourselves a little extra. In this roller coaster ride that we all ride in, we must remove time for ourselves. Loving-kindness meditation happens to be one way that can boost your well-being, forgive more, love more, and worry less, self-acceptance and showing kindness to oneself and others.
This form of mediation helps your love yourself and others, show kindness, gratitude, and allow yourself to even receive love from others. It is not always an easy task to accept all this energy, but once you open yourself and allow all these energies to enter your environment, you will be nothing but happier and at peace.
How do you practice this? It is simple
Keep aside some time for yourself through the day and sit in a comfortable position without any disturbance. Breathing in any kind of meditation is very important, hence you will do the same here once you are relaxed and seated, you will keep your eyes closed and relax your body and mind from all the thoughts. Give your 100% focus on feeling that inner peace and with every breath you take, exhale all the tension and worries. Affirm 2-3 positive phrase like, “I will be healthy, I will be happy, I will be at peace, I will receive and give love.” Etc.
Allow yourself to sit with these affirmations and feelings till you feel relaxed. Repeat these however you like and practice it regularly and see the changes and positivity you bring in your environment.
Benefits of Loving-Kindness Meditation
This meditation can be done with your own choice of affirmations or phrases. Do what works the best for you and bring in benefits like –
- A process to experience and enjoy
- Start experiencing self-love and self-compassion for ourselves
- Deep sense of emotional strength
- Produce positive feelings towards everything around us
- Less self-criticism
5. Visualization Meditation
Our mind is so diverse, it can do wonderful things like create a variety of scenarios that could exist or never existed. All you have to do is uncover it or reveal it to yourself. One such thing the mind can do is visualize, and visualization mediation is basically imagining scenic or soothing images in your mind to help you reach a meditative state of mind and feel calm.
Visualization during meditation can be of your realistic goals that are possible to achieve with a specific deadline, a person, or an event and imagine that turning into reality. You are basically training your mind to think of the positive outcome before it happens so you feel even more motivated to achieve it.
Benefits of Visualization Meditation
How can you benefit from it?
- You will be more confident
- Emotional wellness will be good
- More compassion towards yourself and people
- Relaxed state of mind
- Increased creativity
6. Mindfulness Meditation
During the day our mind is totally occupied with work and lots of other personal matters. Sometimes we are doing things because we have to and we forget to put our heart and soul in it. Being fully present while we do anything is very important don’t you think so? Something as simple as eating meals are not done mindfully, either we are working, multi-tasking or watching television. You are barely aware of what and how you are eating.
Bring in mindfulness in your daily life – take that time off, pause, breath and be fully aware of your senses and presence.
Find that perfect spot or place where you can be seated in a comfortable position. It can be indoor or outdoor! Notice your body postures, breathing pattern, be there mindfully for a few moments and reflect at that moment on what you are doing. During this process your mind is bound to wander here and there, bring it back to attention and feel your breath. Notice the smallest things you are doing – your emotions, thoughts, sounds, your surroundings, and be fully aware in that process.
Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
- Cognitive stimulation therapy
- Mindfulness could play a role in fighting cancer
- Improved immune function
- May reduce cell aging
7. Spiritual Meditation
Spiritual meditation is pursued and practiced across the world by various religions. Every religion, culture, country follows their own ways of spiritual meditation. It is a very diverse practice that helps you connect with your god, universe, a high power or your higher self.
This type of meditation focuses on reducing your stress and making you feel relaxed. Each person connects spiritually in their own ways wither at a place of worship or at the comfort of their homes.
Benefits Spiritual Meditation
Here are some of the benefits you may encounter once you start the wonderful journey of spiritual meditation.
- Reduced stress levels
- Deeper connection with inner-self
- Increased creativity
8. Focused Meditation
Focused meditation is a technique that can be practiced when you want to reach the relaxed state of mind. What is focus? Anything that you put your entire heart & soul into something with utmost attention and without any distraction is what being focused means.
You could focus on any sound that you like, your breathing, any object or even a blank wall, and with this method you learn to be present in the moment. You will need to be in a quiet place so you can keep your attention span for a longer time. Always start small and make it a part of your daily routine and slowly increase the time of meditation as you progress.
Check your posture and be in a straight upright position while performing focused meditation. Pick a time that suits you the best where you can spend time on your own and challenge yourself every day.
Benefits of Focused Meditation
- Focused attention
- Increase tolerance
- Focused on the present moment
9. Movement Meditation
After describing many such forms of meditation which required mostly seated postures, here this one involves various flows and movements that are done in the form of asana. Flowing and moving in rhythmic ways while you continue consciously practice breathing, movement meditation also helps in creating awareness and calmness.
Every asana you perform here is a way of bringing attention to your doshas. Even a 5 minute practice every day can bring many changes in your life. Movement meditation lets us understand the sensations of the body as well as gravity and energy as personified phenomena.
Benefits of Movement Meditation
Follow videos of movement meditation and try them out for your physical and emotional well-being. There are many good benefits you can get through this practice and some of them are –
- Decreases anxiety
- Decreases inflammation
- More focus and attention
- Lights creativity
Now that you have read all the various types of meditation, choose which suits you the best and try to priorities your health and mental well-being. All types of meditation practices will help you with stress, chronic pain,, diseases, mental-health etc. Remember, the more you love and care for your body, the longer you will live a peaceful relaxed life.
I am a Pune based artist, Kathak dancer, Dance Movement Therapist, and an avid Yoga practitioner/ teacher. I am also the Director at the Sakal Media Group, a Trustee of Pune Blind School and Nirdhar Trust.
Being a part of Sakal Media Group, with its strong foundation of service and ethical journalism, I am deeply committed in making this world a better place by pushing boundaries, giving opportunities to others, following my convictions, helping others make better choices and to tell powerful stories that will help reshape the world we live in.
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