Earlier this year, I took a Transcendental Meditation course, and you guys, it was life-changing. I’ve dabbled with meditation for years, but fully emerging myself into a week-long class was something else. Best of all, it got me into a healthy routine of practicing meditation as often as possible.
Since I’m now pretty comfortable with Transcendental, I’ve started experimenting with different meditation styles depending on the circumstance (my emotions, mood, energy). I’ve been gravitating towards simple forms for now, and the 3 styles below are my current favorite. I wanted to share what I’ve been learning about each in hopes that you’ll enjoy them, too.
– Yup, this is actually a type of meditation! I love this style because though you’re focusing solely on the present moment (which is hard!), you’re taught to let go of judgement—like when your mind wanders off or has a hard time concentrating. You should pay close attention to your breath which is a good grounding part of sticking this out. Sit on a cushion or the floor and choose how long you practice for. This is a perfect place to start for beginners who want to dive right in.
Transcendental (aka TM)
– This type is pretty popular and relies on the use of a mantra—usually a positive one. You are supposed to practice TM twice a day for 20 minutes with closed eyes. It’s supposed to promote relaxation, less stress, positivity, and self-development. Because the mantra guides your mind to some extent, this is one of the easier styles to practice. You don’t have to focus on clearing your mind and can instead concentrate on the mantra. I think this is wonderful for anyone who needs to brighten their day, is suffering from PTSD (which is why I started) or is into enlightenment.
– With this type, an instructor leads you. A ton of apps (I like Headspace) and podcasts offer them, so you can do it anywhere. I personally appreciate how you learn different techniques—like body scans or affirmations—and it’s a good way to focus on whatever you’re craving—releasing body tension, getting through emotions, etc. I suggest this style for anyone who has a hard time clearing their head, likes instruction, or gets distracted easily. It’s a great place to start to figure out what specifically you like during a session.
Do you have a favorite form of meditation? What should I try next?