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Which style of meditation is best for you?

In the midst of endless work and social commitments, a sense of inner peace and happiness can be easily lost. It’s so easy to become stuck into routine and march through life unengaged and uninspired. Making a new commitment to yourself by taking time out to nourish the mind through meditation helps to maintain the delicate mind-body-spirit balance on which our sense of direction, happiness and fulfilment so dependently rests.

 

Different types of meditation

Meditation is commonly practiced as a means of stimulating the mind-body connection. Controlling and focusing mental energy through meditation decreases heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure to induce a state of total relaxation.

Practised in many different formal and informal styles, meditation is technically any activity in which you control your attention. The two basic types of meditation are mindfulness meditation and transcendental meditation.

Mindfulness Meditation, also known as vipassana or insight meditation, involves intentional, non-analytical, present moment awareness. Thoughts, feelings or sensations are observed as mental events without assigning judgement or analysis. Practising this accepting, distanced stance facilitates a mindful and calm perspective when faced with otherwise stressful situations. In mindfulness meditation practice, every aspect of experience is welcomed and appreciated as it leads to greater insight into the true nature of reality.

Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM, is one of the most popular types of concentration meditation. It is noted in the healing traditions of Ayur-Veda for it’s powerful stress reduction and healing capabilities. The key to transcendental meditation is to focus all attention on one particular thing, typically a sound or mantra or the sensation of breath entering and leaving the body, as explored in the below guided meditation for beginners.

 

Guided Meditation for Beginners

by Meggan Brummer

While sleep is rest for the body; meditation is rest for the mind. Just 10 minutes of meditation a day can decrease any tension and tiredness and induce a peaceful, clear state of mind. With regular meditation you may also notice that many of your usual problems fall away and you naturally feel more connected to others.

 

Before you begin

  • Choose a peaceful, tidy environment in which to meditate.
  • Doing some exercise helps rid the body of restlessness, making it easier to sit for meditation.
  • Reduce any possible forms of distraction, telephones, etc.

How to Meditate

  • Sit comfortably and easily, back straight, eyes closed. Use the support of the wall or sit in a chair if you wish. And then sit as still as you can. A still body helps still the mind.
  • Now take your awareness to your breath. Observe its pattern … is it long and smooth, short, constricted? Continue observing it as it moves in and out your nostrils. At first you may find it challenging, your mind may be busy and you may feel physically uncomfortable. It might even seem like meditation is making your mind busier; but you’re just becoming aware of how busy your mind is. When thoughts bombard your mind don’t resist them, just keep gently taking your awareness back to your breath.

 

Finally, the best way to learn to meditate is with a teacher. Someone who is there to answer your questions as they arise and to create an environment that’s conducive to you going deeper in your meditations.

 

When and How Often to Meditate

The health benefits of meditation are powerful and effective, making a regular meditation routine truly invaluable. While you may meditate at any time of the day, meditating in the mornings for an invigorating start to your day, or in the evenings to wind down before turning in, are considered most beneficial and effective. The ideal frequency of how often to meditate for best results varies from person to person and may be influenced by various factors such as the type and goal of meditation. Once or twice a day for at least 10 minutes is generally recommended for meditation to have an optimal effect on your daily health and happiness.

 

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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