The benefits of meditation are endless. From reducing stress to improving sleep patterns and treating depression, the mindfulness movement is well and truly taking over. If there really was a quick and easy way to manage everyday anxiety, why hasn't everyone gotten on board? Some think meditation is only for enlightened yogis, but there are numerous types of meditation to suit any personality type. Read on to find out which meditation technique best suits your style.
For the Minimalist: Mindful Meditation
The most basic and uncomplicated form of mediation, mindful meditation is amazing for starting a meditation practice or for those short on time. This type of meditation can be done lying or sitting comfortably, eyes closed or with a gaze soft, and simply noticing the breath patterns. During mindful meditation, the goal is to guide the thoughts back to the present as they wander. This technique can be especially helpful for sleep.
For the Workaholic: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Meditation
Overworked, no energy, or irritable? Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a meditation course (offered online or in person) structured to help practitioners better handle everyday stress and pain by stimulating the relaxation response in the body. Combining Buddhist principles with scientific research, this form of meditation is perfect for busybodies looking to combat everyday chaos, who may feel a bit skeptical about meditation.
For the Goal-Getter: Japa Meditation
Calling all planners, organizers, and goal setters. Japa meditation involves continuously repeating a mantra (a meaningful word or phrase) to hone your focus, visualize success, and invite your intention to materialize. This technique is best for those who are in touch with what they need most. Traditionally, Japa practitioners use prayer beads to keep track of the mantra count and wear them regularly as a reminder throughout the day — and who doesn't love an excuse to wear more accessories?
For the Active-Minded: Walking Meditation
Fitness fiends and outdoors-lovers, rejoice! Not all meditation must be done in stillness. Walking meditation teaches us to be present with nature, slow down, and tune in — all the while moving slowly and mindfully. Unlike a seated meditation, a walking meditation is done with the eyes open; so if you're restless (or just need some air!), this style of meditation may resonate. Walking meditation involves meandering along a path, observing the sensations of the body with each subtle movement. This can be done in any outdoor space — from gardens to beaches, even in your own backyard.
For the Adventurer: Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation (TM) focuses on detaching from distractions to attain a sense of relaxed awareness. This seated, slightly experimental meditation involves the continuous repetition of a mantra, in hopes of transcending your busy thought patterns. This technique requires attending a formal course and practicing 20-minute sessions twice daily, so a spirit of curiosity — and dedication — is recommended.