Meditation is an ancient practice that has survived through the ages. There are two main styles of meditation: Samatha or calming meditation and Vipassana or insight meditation. Calming meditation focuses on creating a peaceful state of mind, boosting concentration and bringing awareness to the breath. This practice uses some of anchor- breath, mantra, visualisation or sensation- to direct your attention. On the other hand, Insight meditation is a more reflective practice. Here the focus is on introspection, deepen your self-awareness, seeking wisdom and exploration. Most meditation practices are a combination of these two styles.
In today’s post we will be exploring five types of meditation practices and how they work.
BODY SCAN MEDITATION
As you know more often than not how minds are focused on one while our body is doing another thing. Body Scan meditation is a great way to sync your mind and body. It’s focus is to align your thoughts to your actions. In this practice, you focus your attention to the various parts of your body, bringing your full awareness to the sensations in your body.
Get into a comfortable position, either laying down, standing or sitting crossed legged. Not bring your attention to your toes. Wiggle them, feel the sensation, relax them and now move to the soles of your feet. How does it feel? Continue perfromingthis mental scan of your body until you reach the crown of your head. Observe the sensations in each part of your body, relaxing your muscles as you move along.
This is a great practice to do laying down in bed as you prepare for sleep. It keeps your mind from wandering and overthinking and helps you relax your body.
With this form of meditation, your are focused on opening and healing your chakras. There are 7 chakras each located at various points in our bodies. You can either focus on energising one chakra or all during one meditation session.
The first chakra, starting at the base of the spins is known as the root chakra. This chakra controls survival issues and when it is open we feel confident and grounded in our ability to handle life challenges. Its colour is red and its element is earth.
The second chakra is located at the lower abdomen, about 2 inches below your navel. This chakra governs our emotions, creativity and sexual energy. When this chakra is open you feel in control of your life and have sense of well-being. Its colour is orange and element is water.
The third chakra is known as the solar plexus and is found in the stomach area. This chakra helps controls your sense of worth, confidence and esteem. When it is open you feel confident, in control and free to express yourself. Its colour is yellow and element is fire.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra and influences our ability to give and receive love. It control our sense of love, joy and inner peace. When this chakra is open you can experience compassion and empathy for others. Its colour is green and its element is air.
The fifth chakra is the throat chakra. This chakra governs our voice and our ability to express ourselves. Its colour is a light blue or turquoise and its element is sound/music.
The sixth chakra is the third eye. This chakra helps us connect to our intuition and see the bigger picture. Its colour is dark blue/purple and its element is light.
Finally, the seventh chakra is the crown chakra found at the very top of the head. This chakra controls ability to connect spiritually. You understand inner and outer beauty. Its colour is violet/white and its element is divine consciousness.
When performing a chakra meditation you bring your attention to the block or distorted chakra. Visualise its colour, the elements and what its symbolises. Tune into that part of the body. Visualise that darkness or cloudiness is leaving that part of the body. Imagine that this ball of energy starts spinning faster and faster as it clears. You may also repeat mantras and affirmations specific to that chakra.
RESTING AWARENESS MEDITATION
This practice allows you to simply rest your mind. You are not focusing your attention on any type of anchor, such as the breath or sensation. You simply allow your mind to wander freely. Even as thoughts flow in and out of your awareness, you don’t let it distract you. It’s like day dreaming.
SOUND BATH MEDITATION
With this type of meditation you immerse yourself in sound. Some kind of musical instrument is present and you focus your mind on the vibrations and sounds created. This can be very relaxing.
FOCUSED ATTENTION MEDITATION
This type of meditation involves using your breath as an anchor to focus your attention. Every time you notice that your mind starts to wonder, gently bring yourself back to your breath. No criticising or bringing yourself down because you lost focus. It’s your minds nature to wander.
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Thank you for reading.