Did you know that there is a variety of different types of meditation? It’s true!
Meditation is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of practices. That being said, if you’ve found one type of meditation doesn’t work for you, it’s possible that another one will. That’s why it’s so important to refrain from judging the practice simply because you’ve tried a type of meditation that wasn’t for you.
You owe it to your mind and body to give meditation a try. There is a whole range of benefits that you can harness by starting to meditate. While it might seem intimidating or difficult at first, you’ll quickly learn that meditation is actually quite the opposite. It’s returning to your body and can assist you tremendously in your journey towards mindfulness.
We’re going to run through the different types of meditation and help you figure out which is the best for you. Because trust us -- the way you glow when you’re aligned makes an impact on how you show up for yourself and the people around you.
What is Meditation?
Let’s talk about overall meditation first. As we mentioned, this is an umbrella term. We want to stress that meditation isn’t about changing yourself. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Meditation is an act of self-love because it’s an act of self-acceptance. It’s actually about getting in touch with the person that you already are.
Instead, meditation is training yourself to be aware. By doing this, you will gain a sense of perspective that would be difficult to acquire otherwise. We also want to debunk the myth that meditation is about turning off your thoughts or feelings. You’re a human, and that’s simply impossible!
When you show up to meditation, you’ll inevitably show up with the messiness of your thoughts and feelings, and that’s okay.
The practice is about recognizing that but focusing on releasing those. Let your feelings and thoughts flow through you without fixating on them. Don’t judge them. It’s okay if you observe them, but focus back on your breathing!
Maybe you’ve tried meditating in the past, and you’ve panicked because you had a difficult time focusing on the task at hand. We would gently urge you to refrain from viewing meditation like that. The best way to get better at meditating is to keep doing it.
The first few times you do it -- like anything -- won’t be necessarily easy. They’ll probably be tough. That being said, you have to work through those difficult sessions to unlock the amazing ones. And when you do, it will be worth it, we promise.
It’s also important to note that when you’re meditating, you have to release all forms of self-judgement. That’s the only way meditation is going to be able to work its magic! The urge to judge one’s self is a hindering one.
What good comes from being hard on yourself? Learning to gently redirect yourself and not waste time or energy with judgement is something meditation can teach you. It’s also a skill that you can apply to other areas of your life.
If you’re excited to get started, we’re right there with you. Once you get into the habit of meditating, you’ll realize how beautiful and sacred this practice is.
You can make your meditation entirely your own -- remember, you’re doing this for YOU.
Why is Meditation Beneficial?
Remember: in order to optimize these benefits, we advise that you set aside time each day to commit to the practice. Meditation is essentially a muscle you have to develop. Once you do, you can start to see the impact of it in your everyday life.
When you meditate you are working to:
- Reduce your stress
- Control your anxiety
- Promote a sense of emotional health and wellbeing
- Promote a sense of self-awareness
- Bolster your attention span
- Keep your mind refreshed and youthful
- Generate a sense of kindness
- Work on your sleep
- Assist with pain control
- Help lower your blood pressure
- Feel more grounded
Once you start to meditate, you’ll find that your life can begin to transform. This isn’t about changing who you are; this is about tuning into all you can be. You already have it within you. Now it’s time to seek that.
The Types of Meditation
There’s a lot of discussion around how many types of meditation there are. Today, we’re going to focus on nine impactful ways that you can meditate.
You can decide to do these meditations at a certain time of day, such as in the morning, or you can do them whenever you feel you want to.
If you want, you can incorporate more than one of these types of meditation into your wellness regimen. Alternatively, you might find that honing in on one is best for you. Whatever feels right when it comes to nourishing your body and mind is what you should do.
Nine popular types of mediation include:
Mindfulness meditation: This is arguably the most popular type in the Western world. It’s rooted in Buddhist teachings, and is based around the practice of paying attention to your thoughts as they float into your mind. It stresses the importance of not judging your thoughts and simply letting them leave once you’ve observed them.
Focused meditation: This type of meditation asks you to use one of your five senses. You can choose to hone in on something internal or external. Just be sure what you’re focusing on is sensory-based.
Spiritual meditation: This type of meditation is most comparable to spending a moment in prayer. If you’re not someone who’s focused on faith, this might not feel like the right pick for you, and that’s okay! Alternatively, if you are, this might be a good place to start.
Movement meditation: When you read the name of this meditation, you might think only yoga qualifies as such, but that couldn’t be more untrue! Whatever kind of physical activity you enjoy you can infuse with meditation. Allow the physical movement to guide you.
Mantra meditation: This meditation is the practice of using a repetitive sound to clear your mind and allow you to focus. You can decide that you want to use a word, phrase, or noise. An example of this that is popular is “Om.” You can pick something that resonates with you; make it yours.
Progressive meditation: This meditation type is focused on promoting relaxation. It can also help you reduce the amount of tension you’re holding in your body. It can include tightening and then relaxing one group of muscles.
Transcendental meditation: If you’re serious about structure, this is a more rigid, scientific type of meditation. Seeking something that will help you get into a strict habit? This meditation is for you.
Loving-kindness meditation: This meditation is aimed at inviting feelings of love in. When you do this meditation, you’re opening your mind to love, and sending thoughts of well-wishes to your family, friends, and other loved ones. If you find you’re resentful or angry, this might be the place to begin.
- Visualization meditation: If you want to relax more, you can use this type of meditation. Start by envisioning peaceful scenes or images. You can also imagine yourself experiencing success with a specific goal. This type of meditation is similar to manifesting. This can promote inner peace and be a mood booster, too.
How To Figure Out Which Meditation is Right for You
There are several ways that you can figure out which type of meditation is right for you. Ultimately, it’s a matter of trying these different varieties out.
While it can be tempting to write off a type of meditation after one less than stellar session, we’d caution you against doing that. Meditation likely won’t be easy the first time you do it - and you might get a different impression of the practice after you’ve done it several times.
That being said, if you feel uncomfortable with a type of meditation, or like it’s not a fit with your mind and body, move on. If anything, you can cycle back when you’re ready and try it again.
You can select which type of meditation to try first based on which description resonates the most with you but really, it’s something you have to put into action first. Once you try, you’ll gain a greater understanding of what works for you and what doesn’t.
If something isn’t working for you, that is completely fine! There are plenty of other types. Meditation shouldn’t feel forced. This is you finding time to tune into your body and soul. If it feels daunting or difficult, there’s not a match. Don’t worry -- there will be a different type of meditation that works for you.
If you want to be strategic about trying the different types of meditation, try each type for a set number of sessions -- somewhere between three and five should do the trick. Jot down how you feel after each session. After you’ve cycled through all the different types, you can reflect on your notes and pick accordingly.
We also want to note that you don’t have to pick one type of meditation and stick with solely that. You might find one kind of meditation is restorative for a certain period of time or mood, but doesn’t feel like a fit another day. That’s to be expected!
Part of meditation is about releasing attachment; you should follow that when it comes to choosing your type of meditation, too. Your preferences also might change as you venture deeper into the craft. Just because you don’t enjoy something when you’re a beginner doesn’t mean you won’t when you’re further along on your journey. Do what feels right for you.
There are so many different types of meditation -- and finding the right one can take time. We urge you to enjoy the process of getting in touch with yourself and enjoy the journey of finding the type right for you.
Remember: when you meditate, you’re doing something truly amazing for your mind and body!