How to Practice the 6 Forms of Meditation
Meditation is the perfect marriage between art and sport. A lifetime activity dedicated to perfecting the connection between your mind and body.
Manifested as many forms and styles across various cultures throughout the history of its conception, Meditation can be generally practised through 6 distinct ways.
1. LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION - The Heart
Closely linked to the concept of empathy and compassion; this type of meditation could be described as the art of cultivating an attitude of love and kindness to others...but foremost yourself.
Simply put - The art of empathy is love.
2. PROGRESSIVE MEDITATION - The Body
When experiencing levels of anxiety often causing tensions in the body, a good way to identify those sources of pain is to practice progressive muscle relaxation.
Associated directly with the concept of “body awareness”, this form of meditation can help us relieve pain by consciously relaxing our tensed muscles. Focusing on one part of the body at a time and using visualisation techniques can help us heal the pain effectively. Then, travelling down the body to extend this form of relaxation elsewhere.
3. MINDFULNESS MEDITATION - The Mind
One of the most beneficial and common forms of meditation, Mindfulness has its sole focus on non-judgement. It is practised through the intense awareness of the sensations and feelings of the moment without adding additional value or thought to it. The essence is to just - “be.
4. BREATH AWARENESS MEDITATION - The Breath
A great form to practice for first starters. This entails focusing purely on your breathing while ignoring any thoughts from your brain. Breathing slowly and deeply. Altering feelings of anxiety by progressively building a sensation of serenity through mindful breathing.
“Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.” – Giovanni Papini
5. KUNDALINI YOGA - The Spirit
Known as the most dangerous and potent type of active meditation. Its status has made it to one of the most popular, yet experts recommend practicing it only with supervised guidance and rigorous discipline.
Exported from India to the US in the 70's, it focuses on consciously tensing the body through physical effort to then relieve the tension using mantras, breathing techniques, power postures and movement.
Both spiritual and physical, the practice is frequently praised as a way of releasing the life-giving sexual energy within us and fortifying our physical strength.
(Here are some great mats to check out before you break a sweat!)
6. ZEN MEDITATION - The Empty Space
Rooted in Buddhist psychology also referred to as “Zazen”, it is embraced to regulate one’s attention and ease anxiety levels as to increase our productivity throughout the day.
The three fundamentals are posture, breathing and focus.
Finding a comfortable position for optimal breathing. Mouth closed, inhaling and exhaling calmly through the nose.
Clearing your mind by acknowledging your thoughts, accepting them and letting them go.
7. TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION - The Mantra
Our mind has a natural tendency of entering this state of tranquil hypnosis. Transcendental meditation focuses on the “being” outside of our thinking mind. This form of meditation is reached when we shift our attention to the state of being in which does not make connections, visualise, nor perceive reality but lives in the vivid space in between. Transcending above.
Mantras are a unique tool in this type of meditation. Simply defined as a “unique statement that is repeated until it loses meaning.” the more foreign the word becomes..the higher you’ll go!